Thursday, September 20

Fresh Tomato & Eggplant Fettuccine

Like everyone else in L.A., my fiancĂ© and I love Bay Cities, a landmark Italian deli in Santa Monica. They’re famous for their sandwiches (namely the Godmother, although I love the meatball sub just as much), but it’s the market full of homemade baked goods and imported cheeses, olive oils, and pastas that put this place over the top. I always take a few minutes to peruse the aisles during the invariably long wait to check out and recently bought some of their fresh fettuccine to bring home for dinner. It’s served here with a simple fresh tomato, basil, and eggplant sauce that’s simple enough to showcase the fresh noodles. I also added in some fresh ricotta to create a slightly creamy texture and to complete this one-pot dish. It’s a great quick weeknight meal that stills feels special enough to serve for company.

Fresh Tomato & Eggplant Fettuccine:
  • Heat 2 tbsp. olive oil in a large skillet over high heat and add in 1 diced Japanese eggplant.*
  • Cook for 5-7 minutes, or until browned and softened, then remove and set aside.
  • Add another tbsp. of olive oil to the pan and add in 1 pt. grape tomatoes, 3 cloves minced garlic, salt, and pepper.
  • Lower the heat and cook for 15-20 minutes, breaking up the tomatoes as the soften to form a sauce.
  • Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil and season with salt.
  • Add 8 oz. fresh pasta** to the water and cook until al dente.
  • Drain pasta and reserve ½ c. pasta cooking water.
  • Add the eggplant and 1 handful of torn fresh basil to the tomatoes and check for seasoning.
  • Add in the pasta cooking water, the drained pasta, and 2 heaping tbsp. fresh ricotta cheese.
  • Toss for 1-2 minutes, or until the pasta absorbs most of the sauce.
  • Divide onto plates and top with more fresh basil.

Serves two-three
*Or regular eggplant.
**Can be found in the fridge or freezer section of most grocery stores.