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Eggplant, Fresh Ricotta (not salata), Penne + Tomato Sauce

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Eggplant, Fresh Ricotta (not salata), Penne + Tomato Sauce

janie | Dec 29, 2007 05:00 PM

Tried to make this the other week, and it came out pretty good, except I had a time issue and ended up having to put it into casserole dish, and bake it, when I think that serving it hot off the stove would be ideal. However, I have a few questions..is it best to keep all the ingredients seperate and then do a big toss with everything at the end, because last time, I salted the eggplant for about 30min and then rinsed in cold water and squeezed the cubes, and then sauteed in olive oil and lots of garlic, put this aside, and then prepared a tomato sauce with chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and whole tomatoes, fresh basil, oregano and more garlic, and hot chili flakes, and olive oil....added the eggplant that I had sauteed into the tomato mixture, and let cook for about 30 min.

Would I be better to keep the eggplant seperate to the end, because the eggplant came out so smoky and soft and sweet, and I think cooking in the tomato sauce helped. Also, should I put sugar in the tomato sauce? I thought about warming up the fresh ricotta from the fridge into a double boiler so it wouldn't burn, instead of just mixing it in, because it would lower the temp of mixture..or should I be adding the ricotta to the tomato sauce just before I'm ready to toss with the pasta? Thought penne is best, but maybe rigatoni would be better?

Lots of questions....plan on adding lots of fresh parsley and some more chopped fresh basil while I'm mixing it together--------Thanks for the help from some experts out there..........
Plan on making this for NYear's eve dinner.........

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