When we planted the garden this year, along with the zucchini plant, the tomatoes, the basil and kale, we had a lone eggplant seedling. I really didn’t think we’d have much luck with it, but our neighbor thought it would be fun to try. Last year’s “fun to try” plant for the garden gave us more than 100 serrano peppers, so perhaps I should have been more optimistic about this little eggplant seedling.
Our little seedling has given us nearly 12 small eggplants so far this season. I’ve made eggplant parmesan and eggplant sauce with sweet corn polenta. When I wanted to try a new eggplant dish, I turned to Herbivoracious to check out Michael’s archives. A quick search turned up this recipe for eggplant ragu with fresh ricotta.
This recipe was simple to put together, and the eggplant melted into a delicious sauce over the pasta. I left out the bell pepper and subbed in jalapenos for the Fresno chilis. I also used lemon zest instead of orange zest, but otherwise followed the recipe exactly. The extra touches of ricotta, parsley and lemon zest made this dinner feel just a bit more special than a typical weeknight thrown together pasta.
I’d definitely make this recipe again, but I think our last garden eggplant is going to find a home in a stir-fry with ginger scallion sauce this week.