Your Life A to Z Recipe: October 4, 2013 Eggplant Ravioli with Tomato Soup

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Your Life A to Z Recipe: Thursday, October 3, 2013

By: Chef Gabe Bertaccini

Ravioli di melanzana in zuppetta di pomodoro
Eggplant in ‘ravioli’ in tomato soup


•    Fine Sea Salt
•    1 ¼ pounds plum tomatoes
•    ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
•    Freshly ground black pepper
•    1 teaspoon finely chopped basil, plus 4 torn leaves, plus whole leaves for garnish
•    1 teaspoon finely chopped mint, plus 4 torn leaves, plus whole leaves for garnish
•    1 (1 ¼ pound) eggplant
•    1 ¼ cups fresh ricotta cheese (10 ounces)
•    1 tablespoon finely grated Grana Padano or Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
•    Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
•    ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
•    Unbleached all-purpose flour for dining

1.    Bring a saucepan of salted water to a boil. Drop tomatoes into water and boil 30 seconds. Drain, peel, quarter seed in a blender, combine tomatoes, 3 tablespoons oil and pinch pepper. Puree until smooth. Transfer soup to a bowl, stir in ¼ tablespoon salt, torn basil and torn mint. Set aside. (Soup can be made up to 3 days in advance. Keep covered in refrigerator. Let stand at room temp. for 30 to 45 minutes before serving).

2.    Peel 2-inch wide strips of skin from opposite sides of eggplant and discard. Using an adjustable-blade slicer or a chef’s knife, cut eggplant lengthwise into 20 (1/8 inch thick) slices. Season both sides of eggplant slices with salt.

3.    Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook eggplant slices in single layer in batches until light brown and pliable, 30 seconds per side, then transfer to the tray. 

4.    In a bowl, combine ricotta, Grana Padano, Lemon Zest and generous pinch of salt and pepper. In a small skillet, combine 1 tablespoon oil and oregano; gently warm over low heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add to cheese mixture, stir and combine.

5.    Place 1 tablespoon cheese mixture on each eggplant slice, then roll up slices beginning with a short end, pressing gently to flatten slightly once rolled.

6.    Lightly dust dry tray with flour. Place eggplant ravioli on tray and lightly dust ravioli with flour

7.    In a 10 to 12 inch skillet, heat ¼ cup oil over medium-high heat until shimmering; fry ravioli in 2 batches, turning pieces once and adding remaining tablespoon of oil to skillet after first batch, until golden brown on both sides, about 8 minutes total. Drain on paper towels, then season with salt.

8.    Divide soup among shallow serving bowl. Top with ravioli. Garnish with pepper and herbs.