With fresh pastas from Nicole-Taylor’s, all you need for a delicious dinner is a sensational sauce! Marinara is marvelous, but there are so many more interesting possibilities using what you find seasonally at the market!

Eggplant and Country Ham Ragù

from Bon Apetit

7.27 anna belles eggplantIngredients:

  • 8 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1½ pounds globe eggplants (about 2 small), cut into ½-inch pieces
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 12 slices thin country ham or prosciutto (about 3 ounces)
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1–2 chipotle chiles, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • ½ cup tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 12 ounces linguine or spaghetti
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1½ ounces Parmesan, finely grated (about ½ cup)
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley

Preparation:

  1. Heat 3 Tbsp. oil in a large heavy pot over medium-high. Add half of eggplant, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring often, until browned and tender, 5–8 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl. Repeat with 3 Tbsp. oil and remaining eggplant. Heat remaining 2 Tbsp. oil over medium in same skillet and add ham, onion, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add chiles, cocoa powder, and tomato paste, stirring to coat. Cook, stirring frequently, until tomato paste has turned a dark brick red and cocoa powder smells toasty, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add tomato sauce, reserved eggplant, and 1 cup water, scraping up any browned bits. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce has thickened and flavors have melded, 25–30 minutes. Add fish sauce and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain, reserving 2 cups pasta cooking liquid.
  5. Add pasta to pot with sauce along with butter and 1 cup pasta cooking liquid. Bring to a simmer and cook, tossing frequently, until a thick glossy sauce forms and coats pasta, adding more cooking liquid as needed. Divide among bowls and top with Parmesan and parsley.

Do Ahead: Ragù can be made 3 days ahead. Let cool; cover and chill.

As you check out these recipes, keep in mind that you never have to use the type of pasta described – you can always substitute another shape of pasta with the sauce. For example, the Kale and Breadcrumbs would go just as nicely on linguine as on orecchiette; and you can match up a flavored pasta with the sauce for wonderful combinations!

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Pasta with Fresh Tomatoes and Grilled Scallions

Orecchiette with Kale and Breadcrumbs