Eggplant Gnocchi with Fresh Tomato Sauce and Ricotta Salata
Makes 4 to 6 servings Choosing the eggplant is the secret here. Small eggplants will have smaller seeds. If your eggplant is large, it may have larger seeds that you’ll need to strain out of the purée and it may be somewhat spongy. In that case, buy enough eggplant to compensate for the loss when…

CIA FOODIES


Eggplant Gnocchi with Fresh Tomato Sauce and Ricotta Salata

Makes 4 to 6 servings Choosing the eggplant is the secret here. Small eggplants will have smaller seeds. If your eggplant is large, it may have larger seeds that you’ll need to strain out of the purée and it may be somewhat spongy. In that case, buy enough eggplant to compensate for the loss when you strain out the seeds and drain the cooked eggplant. If the eggplant is still a bit wet, even after draining, you might have to adjust the recipe a little by adding an additional egg or a bit more flour to hold the gnocchi together.

Ingredients

Roasted Eggplant Gnocchi
  • 1 lb Italian or Japanese eggplant
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, lightly smashed
  • 1 cup all-purpose or 00 flour
  • 1/2 cup basil leaves, torn into very small pieces or chopped
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • Kosher salt, as needed
  • Freshly ground black pepper, as needed

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Wash the eggplant and cut them lengthwise in half, or quarters depending on their size. Lay them in a sheet pan, cut side up, and poke them with a fork. Bake until completely soft, 30 to 45 minutes. Remove, let cool a little, and using a spoon, scoop the pulp from the skin. Chop the eggplant pulp and squeeze to remove as much liquid as possible.
  3. Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic, swirling them in the oil as they cook, until they take on a light golden color, about 3 minutes. Remove the garlic and add the roasted eggplant. Lower the heat and continue to cook long enough to dry out the eggplant a bit more, about 6 minutes. Transfer the eggplant to a bowl and let cool.
  4. Add the flour, half of the basil, the Parmigiano-Reggiano, egg, and salt and pepper to the eggplant and mix with your hands until evenly blended.
  5. Place the dough on a floured work surface and pinch off pieces, about 1 tablespoon each, and roll each into a log; use flour, as necessary, to keep them from sticking. Gently roll the gnocchi over the back of a fork to give them a slight indentation. Set them aside on a lightly floured baking sheet.
  6. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the gnocchi, and cook, uncovered, at a gentle boil. Cook until the gnocchi float to the surface, about 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, lift them from the water and transfer to a colander to drain.
  7. Add the gnocchi to the tomato sauce and simmer just long enough to combine the flavors. Taste and season with salt and pepper, as needed. Serve in a heated serving bowl or in pasta plates topped with the ricotta salata and the remaining basil.

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