Ricotta pockets with eggplant and watnuts

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by: KillBunny






Malfatti are yet another variation of filled pasta, in which you make a triangle and then fold down the tip and seal it. Because this is a very simple pasta, it relies heavily on the quality of the three ingredients — ricotta, eggplant and walnuts. So it is best to buy whole walnuts in season. If you want to make an even simpler, classic ric0tta filling, just mix 14 ounces (about 1 2/3 cups) of ricotta with 1/2 cup of cooked spinach (about 1/2 pound (8 cunces) raw) , 3 tablespoons of grated Parmesan and an egg, then season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and a pinch of nutmeg.




ingredients

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serves: 4

4 tablespoons shelled walnuts (in or equivalent whole nuts)

2 eggplants (the round, pale ones if possible)

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 onion (finely chopped )

15 ounce of chopped tomatoes

12 ounces (about 1 1/3 cups) ricotta cheese

vegetable oil for deep-frying

pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

2 eggs

6 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan

1 recipe quantity of fresh egg pasta dough

5 1/4 tablespoons unsalted butter

5 leaves around fresh basil

salt and pepper

Nutrition Facts
Ricotta pockets with eggplant and watnuts

Servings Per Recipe: 4

Amount per Serving

Calories: 720

  • Total Fat: 45.8 g
  •     Saturated Fat: 21.1 g
  •     Trans Fat: 0.6 g
  • Cholesterol: 235.9 mg
  • Sodium: 423.6 mg
  • Total Carbs: 53.6 g
  •     Dietary Fiber: 6.6 g
  •     Sugars: 5 g
  • Protein: 28.2 g
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preparation

1.  If you are using whole walnuts, crack them, trying to keep them as intact as possible. Put them on a tray and toast them in the oven at about 34O°F for about 4 to 5 minutes until they are golden. While still warm, wrap them in a cloth and rub them to pull off the skins. Then, while the nuts are still warm, peel off whatever is left of the skins with a small knife. Chop the nuts.

2.  Cut the eggplant into about 3/4—inch dice, put in a colander, season with salt and set aside to drain in a warm place.

3.  Heat the olive oil in a saucepan and add the onions. Cook gently without allowing to color for about 4 to 5 minutes, then add the tomatoes and cook until the excess juice has evaporated and the consistency is quite thick (10 to 20 minutes, depending on the size of your pan). Take off the heat.

4.  While the tomatoes are cooking, put the ricotta into a colander to allow any excess moisture to drain.

5.  Heat the vegetable oil in a deep fryer or deep saucepan (don't fill any mere than one—third full because, however much you drain the eggplant, it will still be wet and might cause the oil to foam up). To test whether it is bet enough, sprinkle in a little flour and if it sizzles it is ready.

6.  Take the pieces of eggplant in your hands and squeeze well, to get rid of a little more moisture, and then fry in two separate batches, for about 2 minutes each, so that they turn slightly crisp (this is important, as you don't want soft, greasy eggplant inside your pasta parcels). Drain on paper towels.

7.  Put the ricotta in a bowl, add the walnuts, eggplant, nutmeg, one of the eggs and 4 tablespoons of Parmesan, and mix well. Cheek and adjust the seasoning, if necessary.

8.  Make the pasta dough as described on page 330 and put through the machine. Beat the remaining egg and use it to brush each pasta strip, then place little mounds of filling two abreast along the length of the strip, leaving a space of about 1 1/2 inches between each mound. Then cut down the center of the strip so that you have two long strips (about 3 inches wide) with mounds of filling at intervals. Then cut these across into squares of 3x3 inches.

9.  Working with one square of pasta at a time, take one corner and bring it over the top of the filling to the opposite corner, pressing down the edges and moving your fingers inward toward the filling to push out any trapped air. Brush the tip of the triangle with a little more beaten egg, then fold it back toward the center and press down to seal.

10.  Bring a large pan of water to the boil fer the pasta. You need two large saute pans — melt half the butter in each.

11.  Put the malfatti into the pan of salted boiling water and cook for about 3 minutes, drain and divide between the two sauté pans. Gently cook until golden. If the butter begins to turn too brown, add a few more pats of butter to bring the temperature down.

12.  While the malfatti are browning in the pans, put the pan of tomato sauce back on the heat. Tear the basil leaves and add them, heat through and check and adjust the seasoning, if necessary.

13.  Spoon half of the tomato sauce into the middle of the plates, arrange the malfatti around the edge, sprinkle with the rest of the Parmesan and spoon the rest of the tomato sauce into the center, between the malfatti.

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