Monday, March 23, 2009

spaghetti in rosemary cream sauce with Indian eggplants, snap peas & prosciutto

Now that it is officially spring, it's time to look for ways to add all the new ingredients appearing at the Farmer's Market into our cooking plans! Sugar snap peas (a kind of "sugar" I can have) add a fresh crispiness and delightful green brightness to this adaptation of the basic cream sauce used in an earlier, more wintry post, "Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Ricotta and Meyer Lemon Zest."

I was also eager to do something with the cute little baby eggplants that I've been seeing at the Encino Farmer's Market. Can you tell that I'm in love with miniature vegetables lately? I know eggplants are generally in season in the summer, but sometimes veggies have a longer growing season in California, and sometimes the baby veggies appear sooner than the full-sized ones. I'm not sure if that's the case with these eggplants, so if anyone out there knows, please share!

In fact, according to the sign at the market, what I bought were Indian eggplants. There are lots of different kinds of eggplants, and crazily enough, they are technically considered a berry - kind of in the same way that tomatoes are considered a fruit. Whatever they are, these little eggplants were yummy to use in this dish because the spongy texture of the eggplant allows it to soak up the flavor of the cream sauce.


3-4 baby eggplants (or Indian eggplants)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
salt & pepper
2 cups sugar snap peas, cut into bite sized pieces
1 clove minced garlic
2 Tbsps. white balsamic vinegar
3 slices prosciutto
2 stalks green onion, chopped
2 Tbsps. butter
1 long stalk fresh rosemary, leaves separated from stem and chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup fresh ricotta
salt & pepper
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
whole wheat spaghetti noodles (enough for 2 people)

1. Slice the eggplant into long, thin strips, leaving the skin on. Heat the oil in a large skillet, then add the eggplant strips. Sprinkle on a little salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes or so. Add the snap pea pieces and garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes, then add the white balsamic vinegar.

2. Roll up each slice of prosciutto and slice the rolls so that you make bite-sized strips. Mix the prosciutto into the veggies and cook for a few more minutes. Add the green onions and cook briefly so that the green doesn't darken too much.

3. Meanwhile, melt the butter in another pan, then add the rosemary - the herbal oil will infuse the butter. After heating the rosemary for a few minutes, pour in the heavy cream. Bring to a boil, then simmer over medium heat for 3 minutes before adding the ricotta. Stir over low heat to melt and blend the cheese into the cream, then remove from heat.

4. While the noodles are boiling, stir the Parmesan into the cream sauce mixture until it melts and disappears. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

5. Serve the noodles in a bowl with the cream sauce and veggies spooned on top.

Eggplant on Foodista

No comments:

Post a Comment