Let me begin by explaining to you, that I grew up in a country where bland food is basically a myth created by the less fortunate people across the globe, who haven’t had the good fortune, to have met the Lord of the Kitchens… the Chili pepper!!
So of course I have this compulsive need for spicy food! Don’t get me wrong, I do appreciate a good bowl of fettuccine drizzled in extra virgin olive oil. I’m polite enough not to even ask for that bottle of hot sauce unless it’s an absolute emergency! But once in a while a girl wonders what it would have been like, had the humble Ravioli ever married the spicy Baigan Bharta (chargrilled spicy curried eggplant 🍆) !
So I decided to find out… and it was a match made in heaven!!
Baingan Bharta & Pecorino Cheese Ravioli tossed in Olive oil,Burnt Garlic & Serrano Chillies
Baingan Bharta (with a twist)
- 1 medium Eggplant, baked, skinned and mashed *
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp chopped onions
- 1 tsp chopped garlic
- 1 tsp grated ginger
- 1 small tomato, chopped
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 tsp smoked paprika (yes, smoked)
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp curry powder
- 1 tbsp chopped cilantro
- Salt to taste
- 2 to 3 tbsp grated/ powdered Pecorino Romano cheese
* to bake the eggplant, coat it with oil (I used olive oil) and bake in the oven at 425 Degrees F for about 30 mins or until brown. Wait till it’s cool (if you love your fingers), peel the skin out and mash it roughly with a fork.
In a frying pan, heat the olive oil and fry the onions, garlic & ginger. Add the chopped tomatoes and the rest of the ingredients including the eggplant pulp and cook it down till it looses most of its moisture. (pudding like consistency👍🏻)Remove in a bowl, and add the Pecorino cheese once the mixture is cool. Mix and set aside. (I had to make sure nobody snacked on it)
- 2 cups all purpose flour + extra for dusting
- 3 eggs + 1 egg yolk
- 1 tbsp salt
- 2 tbsp olive oil (divided)
- A little semolina for dusting
Put the flour, salt, eggs & 1 tbsp of oil in a large mixing bowl. Mix till it loosely comes together. Transfer it on a clean working surface, generously sprinkled with flour. Now work that dough (and your forearm muscles while you’re there) for about 10 minutes, sprinkling with flour as and when you need. Then coat with the remaining olive oil, wrap it in some cling film and let it rest while the gluten forms. ( good thing you worked out right?)
Assembling that Show Stopper
- Prepared dough
- 1 egg, beaten (for egg wash)
- Prepared eggplant mixture
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 4 tbsp butter
- 6/7 garlic cloves, sliced thinly
- 1 or 2 Serrano chilies 🌶, sliced
- Garlic salt, to taste
- Pepper, crushed
- Grated Parmesan, to taste (I’d say go big or go home)
Divide the dough into 4 parts. Cover the remaining portions with cling film while you roll the first one out in a rectanglular sheet that’s about 6″ * 12″ in size. (You’ll wish you had a pasta maker at this point but personally I like a good challenge💪🏻) Brush it with the beaten egg. (That’s basically your edible glue)
Now using a tsp as measure, spoon the eggplant mixture at about 1″ intervals on one half of the sheet. Drape the other end over it like a blanket and press down into the gaps using your fingertips to seal it.
Cut out the squares using a sharp knife and seal off the edges using a fork. Dust all the pieces with the semolina to avoid soggy & sticky pieces while you repeat this process with the remaining dough. (Workout!)
Now let’s get these babies ready in 4 batches. (Do the Math)
Boil an Xlarge pot of water, generously sprinkled with salt. Cook the first part of prepared Ravioli in the boiling water for no more than 4 minutes. (Trust me!) Strain them out using a slotted spoon and let the water simmer for the next batch.
In a hot pan add 1 part oil+butter. Add some garlic and Serrano chili and let it brown. Add the first batch of strained Ravioli in it and toss till it’s coated for about a minute at the most. (In case you’re an amateur, use a spoon to stir very gently to avoid sticky ceilings.) Season withgarlic salt and crushed pepper. Sprinkle some Parmesan on top.
Serve or Eat and don’t forget to repeat 👆🏻!
You’re Welcome 😊