Italian style pastas seem to always have a great flavor, even when there are only a few select ingredients in the recipe. Today's recipe is an example of a very simple pasta that is made with traditional Italian cooking techniques.
The olive oil sauce is started with thin sliced garlic, fine chopped eggplant and zucchini are added. Olive oil has a low smoking point, so the sauté temperature is moderate. This allows the full flavor of the vegetables to develop. When tossed with the pasta, the tiny bits of vegetables cling to the Cellentani. As always, the idea is to coat the pasta with flavor. A pasta like this is usually served as the second course in a formal Italian four course dinner.
Many mediterranean countries traditionally use anchovies or anchovy paste like a seasoning. The tiny amount of anchovy paste brings this pasta to life! The finely chopped eggplant and zucchini easily clings to the pasta. The sliced garlic flavor is thoroughly infused with the olive oil.
Some Italian pastas are made with chopped garlic and some are made with sliced garlic. Sliced garlic is usually part of an olive oil sauce or a marinara. The splash of virgin olive oil finish, freshens the great olive oil flavor.
Cellentani al melanzane e zucchine salsa di olio d'oliva:
This recipe yields 1 large portion or 2 petite portions.
Eggplant absorbs a lot of olive oil!
Step 1: Cook 1 portion of Cellentani pasta in boiling water, till it is al dente.
Cool the pasta under cold running water.
Drain the water off of the pasta.
Toss the pasta with 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil, so it does not stick together.
Set the pasta aside.
Step 2: Keep a pot of water boiling, so the pasta can be reheated later in the recipe.
Step 3: Heat a sauté pan over medium/medium low heat.
Add about 1/4 cup of olive oil.
Add 3 very thin sliced garlic cloves.
Sauté the garlic, till it is a light golden brown color.
Step 4: Immediately add 1/3 cup of very fine chopped peeled eggplant.
Add 1/3 cup of very finely chopped zucchini.
Sauté the vegetables till they just start to become tender.
Step 5: Add 1 pinch of sea salt and black pepper.
Add 1 pinch of oregano.
Add 1 pinch of crushed dried red pepper.
Add 1/2 teaspoon of anchovy paste.
Sauté till the vegetables are tender and golden highlights appear.
Step 6: Reduce the temperature to low heat.
Add 2 teaspoons of virgin olive oil.
Add 1/2 tablespoon of fine chopped Italian Parsley.
Stir the sauce.
Step 7: Place the portion of al dente cooked cellentani pasta in a pasta net and briefly reheat it in the boiling water.
Use the pasta net to drain off the water.
Add the cellentani to the sauce.
Step 8: Toss the ingredients together.
Place the pasta on a plate.
Sprinkle some finely grated imported Parmigiana Cheese over the pasta.
No garnish is necessary!
Cellentani is a ribbed pasta, so it is perfect for an olive oil sauce!