Recipes: Fusilli with Spicy Eggplant and Spaghetti with Wilted Peppers

  • Updated: July 3, 2013 - 1:00 PM

roasted cherry tomatoes with ricotta

Serves 4.

Note: From “Franny’s Simple Seasonal Italian” by Andrew Feinberg, Francine Stephens and Melissa Clark (Artisan, $35).

• 4 c. assorted cherry tomatoes

1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

• 1/4 tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste

• 4 3/4-inch thick slices country-style bread

• 1 clove garlic

• 1/4 c. fresh ricotta

• Freshly ground black pepper

• 8 basil leaves

• Flaky sea salt, such as Maldon

Directions

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. In a large bowl, toss tomatoes with olive oil and salt. Spread on a small baking sheet (tomatoes should just fit, without crowding). Roast for 2 hours.

Reduce heat to 200 degrees and continue roasting for an additional 1 1/2 hours, until tomatoes are shriveled and golden-edged. Remove from oven and cool completely on baking sheet. Transfer tomatoes, and accumulated oil, to a medium bowl.

Preheat broiler. Drizzle one side of bread slices with olive oil. Toast, olive oil side up, until golden and crisp, 1 to 2 minutes. Rub toasted side of bread with garlic.

In a small bowl, season ricotta generously with salt and pepper. Spread 1 tablespoon of ricotta on each toast. Lay 2 basil leaves on each one. Mound tomatoes on toasts. Season with sea salt and lots of pepper. Drizzle each toast with about 1 teaspoon of roasted tomato oil and serve.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 295 Fat 17 g Sodium 350 mg Saturated fat 4 g

Carbohydrates 27 g Calcium 105 mg

Protein 9 g Cholesterol 8 mg Dietary fiber 5 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 2 vegetable, 1 bread/starch, 3½ fat.

grilled zucchini salad with mozzarella and dill

Serves 4.

Note: From “Better Homes and Gardens Fresh” from the editors of Better Homes and Gardens magazine (Houghton Mifflin, $29.99).

3 medium green and/or yellow zucchini, sliced lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick planks

• 3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided

• Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

8 oz. fresh mozzarella ball, pulled into large pieces

• 2 tbsp. coarsely chopped fresh dill

• 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper

• 1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

Directions

Preheat gas or charcoal grill to medium heat. On a baking sheet, arrange zucchini in a single layer. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place zucchini directly over medium heat and grill until tender, about 8 minutes, turning once.

On a serving platter, arrange warm zucchini and mozzarella. Sprinkle with dill and crushed red pepper. Drizzle with lemon juice and remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and serve.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 276 Fat 25 g Sodium 243 mg Saturated fat 10 g

Carbohydrates 5 g Calcium 225 mg

Protein 14 g Cholesterol 40 mg Dietary fiber 2 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 vegetable, 2 high-fat meat, 2 fat.

Fusilli with spicy eggplant √

Serves 6.

Note: Ricotta salata is a firm, salty Italian cheese; you could substitute feta cheese. From the Los Angeles Times Test Kitchen.

• 1 lb. eggplant

• Salt

• 1/4 c. olive oil

• 1 c. diced onion

• 4 garlic cloves, sliced

• 1/4 tsp. to 1 1/2 tsp. dried red pepper flakes

• 1 1/2 c. chopped tomatoes

• 3 tbsp. capers

• 1/2 c. white wine

• 1 lb. fusilli (short spiral-shaped pasta)

• Slivered basil leaves

• Ricotta salata (see Note)

Directions

Cut the eggplant into 1/2 to 3/4-inch cubes and place them in a colander. Salt liberally and put a heavy bowl on top to press down. Place in the sink or in another bowl and set aside for at least 1 hour.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat, add the onion and cook until it is soft, about 5 minutes. Add the sliced garlic and dried red pepper flakes, and cook an additional minute or two.

Rinse the eggplant and pat dry in a kitchen towel. Add to the olive oil and cook until it is tender, about 10 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes and the capers, and cook until any moisture cooks away, about 5 minutes. Add the white wine and simmer until it reaches a thick sauce consistency, about 5 minutes.

Cook the fusilli in a large pot of rapidly boiling salted water until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and add to the skillet with the eggplant mixture along with 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water. Continue cooking briefly and add the slivered basil.

Divide among 6 warmed pasta bowls and top with crumbled cheese.

Nutrition information per serving without cheese:

Calories 419 Fat 10 g Sodium 130 mg Saturated fat 2 g

Carbohydrates 67 g Protein 12 g Cholesterol 0 mg Dietary fiber 6 g

SPAGHETTI WITH WILTED PEPPERS √

Serves 6.

Note: From the Los Angeles Times Test Kitchen.

• 3 tbsp. olive oil

• 1 onion, sliced in 1/4-in. half-moons

• 4 slices prosciutto, cut in 1/4-in. ribbons

• 6 red and yellow bell peppers

• 1/2 tsp. salt

• 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

• 2 tbsp. chopped parsley

• 1 lb. spaghetti

• Grated Pecorino Romano

Directions

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat, add the onion and prosciutto, and cook until the onions have softened but not browned, 6 to 7 minutes.

While the onions are cooking, clean the peppers: Cut off the tops and bottoms and remove the seeds and core. Cut into lengthwise quarters and trim away the ribs. Cut into 1/4 -inch crosswise strips. Add the peppers to the skillet with 1/2 teaspoon salt and reduce the heat to low.

Cook, stirring occasionally, until the peppers are limp, about 45 minutes. The prosciutto will be frazzled and the onion caramelized. Add the garlic and parsley, and continue cooking while you prepare the pasta.

Cook the spaghetti in a large pot of rapidly boiling salted water until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and add to the skillet with the peppers. Stir to mix well and divide among 6 warm pasta plates. Dust generously with grated Pecorino Romano and serve immediately.

Nutrition information per serving without cheese:

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