Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Eggplant, yes or no?

I don't like eggplant, at all, but after tonight I may have to change my mind!  Miss Picky and I went to our favorite shopping spot this summer to get back to school things. One of my favorite places for lunch is there, an Italian bistro, they have the most awesome fried sweet potatoes! So I had that and a salad. Miss Picky loves eggplant and decided on an eggplant ravioli with a pink sauce. You have to understand that Miss Picky never finishes what's on her plate. Very rarely. She had the entire dish. Except for one little last bite she made me try so I could attempt to make the same thing at home.

I pretty much succeeded!

and now I have to say that I love eggplant. At least in ravioli! I googled eggplant ravioli and came with two recipes that looked good to me. One was more work than the other. Eggplant Parm Ravioli from Rachael Ray and Eggplant-filled Ravioli with Tomato Cream Sauce that was on a bunch of sites, originally from Bon Appetit.  So I used a little from each and came up with a winner according to Miss Picky!  I cheated this time and used a jarred sauce because I wasn't sure how much time the eggplant and the ravioli would take. Not too labor intensive at all. Next time I'll make it with the vodka sauce recipe from Lidia Bastianich, it's a great recipe!

The filling would be great as a filling for lasagna, too! Or as a warm dip with some toasted slices of a baguette.

but it made a delicious ravioli! I'm an eggplant convert! Miss Picky was right.

Eggplant Parm Ravioli with Vodka Sauce
adapted by There's Always Thyme to Cook
Source: Eggplant Parm Ravioli from Rachael Ray and Eggplant-filled Ravioli with Tomato Cream Sauce from Bon Appetit, September 1987
Printable Recipe

1 eggplant, peeled and chopped in chunks
3 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
Salt and pepper
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup plus 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup plain dried breadcrumbs
a splash of white wine, I used Sauvignon Blanc
1 quart vodka sauce (recipe below or use your favorite jarred sauce!)
1 package egg roll or won ton wrappers (I used won ton wrappers, Nasoya brand)
fresh basil, for garnish

1/2 cup warm water

Using a food processor, finely chop the eggplant and garlic cloves. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1½ tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the eggplant and garlic, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until browned, about 10 minutes. Add the wine, and cook that down for another couple of minutes. Stir in the bread crumbs and cook for another few minutes. Check for seasoning. Stir in the mozzarella and 1/4 cup parmesan cheese. When it's all melted together, transfer to a bowl.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Fill each wrapper with 1 rounded tablespoon of the eggplant mixture; moisten the edges with water and fold in half, or for a larger ravioli, put 1 1/2 tablespoons eggplant mixture in the middle of one wrapper, moisten the edge and top with another wrapper, pressing the edges to seal. Working in 2 batches, cook the ravioli until tender, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the ravioli to plates or use one bowl, top with vodka sauce, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and fresh basil and serve .

Note: You can freeze the uncooked ravioli, separately on a baking shit, when frozen put them in a ziploc freezer bag. When you want to use them, do not thaw.

Vodka Sauce:
Source: Lidia's Italian-American Kitchen by Lidia Bastianich

One 35-ounce can Italian plum tomatoes (preferably San Marzano) with their liquid
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
10 cloves garlic, peeled (I use a lot less, maybe 2-3)
crushed hot red pepper (to taste) (I used about 2 pinches)
1/4 cup vodka
1/2 cup heavy cream (I use less, a bout 1/3)
2 tablespoons butter or olive oil for finishing the sauce (optional)
2 to 3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Pour the tomatoes and their liquid into the work bowl of a food processor. Using quick on/off pulses, process the tomatoes just until they are finely chopped. (Longer processing will aerate the tomatoes, turning them pink.)

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Whack the garlic cloves with the side of a knife and add them to the hot oil. Cook, shaking the skillet, until the garlic is lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Lower the work bowl with the tomatoes close to the skillet and carefully (they'll splatter) slide the tomatoes into the pan. Bring to a boil, season with salt and with crushed red pepper to taste (you can always add more it needed!) and boil about 2 minutes. Pour in the vodka, lower the heat so the sauce is at a lively simmer, and simmer for a few minutes.

Take the garlic cloves out of the sauce and pour in the cream. Add the 2 tablespoons butter or oil, if using, and carefully swirl the skillet to incorporate into the sauce. Check the seasoning, adding salt and red pepper if necessary. Simmer until the sauce is reduced a bit.

Remove the pot from the heat, sprinkle a little cheese in the sauce and stir. Serve immediately, serve with additional cheese if you like.

*My note - Sometimes I add a little pancetta or prosciutto, about 1/4 lb. sliced thin and cut into 1/2-inch pieces, to the sauce. Saute it with the garlic.


  1. Love eggplant!!!!! Eggplant is such an underrated vegetable. It is awesome when prepared well.

    Love this dish!

  2. This looks awesome! I'm glad you are an eggplant convert. It really is a flexible veggie that soaks up tons of flavor. Good job on the recreation. It must make you feel good that Jodie has such confidence in your cooking abilities! Way to go Mom.

  3. It looks so creamy and I am sure vodka does add to the taste a great deal.

  4. It looks excellent! I like eggplant, cut thin, breaded and fried crisp, and drained. Like it just like that, or with a dab of homemade sauce and a bit of mozzarella as a little pizza.
    I would def try one of your ravioli though, they look good!

  5. I love eggplant...and this looks wonderful and the sauce sounds great :)

  6. The only eggplant I like is crispy eggplant strips with marinara sauce as an appetizer but it sounds like I need to branch out! This sounds great - especially if you liked it too!

  7. I adore the eggplants! This looks really great with vodka sauce.

  8. I love eggplant and am always trying to sneak in a new eggplant dish - The Great Dane is okay with it, but not a huge fan. He loves it breaded and fried, and he's a fan of babba ganoush. I'll try your recipe when I get home. I tried vodka sauce for the first time earlier this week, so was surprised at the coincidence of finding a recipe on your blog today - looks yummy.

  9. Oh yes! We love eggplant at our house and even grow it in our garden some years. This looks like a very yummy dish! Thanks!

  10. This looks amazing! I am a huge lover of eggplant but my hubby won't touch it...I think (fingers crossed!) that this recipe may win him over! ;)

  11. Sounds YUMMY. I love eggplant parmagiana, never tried eggplant ravioli. Thanks for the great recipe.

  12. I love eggplant! Thanks for the great recipes! I usually just slice it, bread it and fry it! I need to get creative! ♥

  13. I love eggplant! How great that Miss Picky likes eggplant. I rarely make anything with it because my husband is not an eggplant fan. I've tried but I can't convince him. This ravioli looks delicious.

  14. Eggplant is staple in Filipino cuisine. But I love learning different ways of cooking eggplant. This is such a great recipe. I have also tried slicing eggplants in round and just fry them with bread crumbs dipped in egg mixture.

  15. I like eggplant, but usually it's cooked in too much oil. I like that your recipe used so little.

    My favorite is the Asian eggplant cut in thin slices and grilled. Great served with a sprinkle of Parmesan or a little bit of basil pesto.

  16. don't delete this post! you are my inspiration for ravioli yummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!


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