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Photo Credit: Elizabeth Newman

Cavatelli with Eggplant and Smoked Mozzarella

15 MINPrep Time
45 MINCook Time
6Servings
by Giada De Laurentiis
Intermediate
Photo Credit: Elizabeth Newman
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A typical dish of the Amalfi Coast, this eggplant cavatelli gets a ton of flavor and rich, creamy texture from smoked mozzarella. It's simple but sumptuous.
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Cavatelli with Eggplant and Smoked Mozzarella

Servings

6

Prep Time

15 minutes

Cook Time

45 minutes

Calories

1135

Author:

Giada De Laurentiis

Image of Cavatelli with Eggplant and Smoked Mozzarella

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds 1 large or 3 small globe eggplant, cut in 1/2-inch dices

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (plus 1/4 teaspoon)
  • 2 cups vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 carrot (peeled and cut in half)
  • 1 small red onion (peeled and cut in half)
  • 1 3- inch piece of Parmesan rind
  • 5 basil sprigs (plus 1/4 cup chopped basil for garnish)

  • 28-ounces tomato puree, such as Bio Orto
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 pound cavatelli, strozzapretti or orecchiette pasta
  • 1 cup grated smoked mozzarella or provolone
  • cheese

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, toss the eggplant with 1 teaspoon salt and let it sit for 10 minutes. Pat the eggplant dry with a paper towel. In a medium saucepan, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot enough that a piece of eggplant begins to sizzle as soon as it hits the oil, it's ready.

  2. Fry the eggplant in 3 or 4 batches, until golden brown and cooked through, about 4 minutes per batch. Using a slotted spoon or a spider, remove the eggplant to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Sprinkle evenly with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt.

  3. Meanwhile, heat a nonreactive 3 1/2 quart Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the olive oil, carrot, and red onion and sweat just for 1 minute. Add the rind, basil, and tomato puree to the pan. Stir with a wooden spoon to mix well. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the rind from sticking to the bottom. Turn off the heat and remove the vegetables and herbs and discard.

  4. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook for 2 minutes less than directed on the package, about 10 minutes. Using a spider, scoop the pasta directly from the water into the sauce. Turn the heat back on to medium-low and add 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water and the grated cheese. Stir constantly until the sauce is creamy and the pasta is cooked through, adding pasta water by the 1/4 cup as needed to cook the pasta through and maintain a sauce. Stir in the eggplant and warm through. Serve sprinkled with the chopped basil.

Nutrition

Nutrition

Nutrition Serving Size
6
per serving
Calories
1135
Amount/Serving % Daily Value
Carbs
75 grams
Protein
19 grams
Fat
86 grams
Saturated Fat
9 grams
Cholestrol
18 milligrams
Sodium
878 milligrams
Fiber
9 grams
Sugar
13 grams
Trans Fat
1 grams
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nut free
vegetarian

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