Spaghetti is an American classic. I don’t make it enough, especially since going gluten free. That may change since I started to read Mario Batali’s newest cookbook “America Farm to Table”. I cooked up a storm this past weekend making his eggplant and angel hair turrets. What’s a turret? A tower of yumminess!
Having a surfeit of eggplants I was diving into all my eggplant recipes to determine the best way to utilize my crop of purple beauties. This one is a winner.
We devoured it by candlelight on my back porch the other Saturday night, bees wax candles to be exact. I thought for a moment that my man was going to lick his dinner plate! It was rewarding to see him so enraptured by my cooking.
I made a few changes so this is an adaptation of the recipe. I advise reading it through twice so you don’t screw it up! I used less red pepper flakes than the original recipe; up it to a tsp. if you dare! Yes, it uses instant potato flakes and they work fantastically to coat the eggplant. I used my own tomato sauce I had made the night before from the last of my fresh tomatoes. This recipe serves 4.
Eggplant and Pasta Turrets
4 tbsp. EOL
2 large eggs
1 cup instant mashed potato flakes
1 large eggplant or 2 medium ones
½ cup onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, sliced
2 oil packed anchovy fillets plus 1 tbsp. of the packing oil
1 28 oz can of tomatoes, crushed by hand plus all the can juice or your own homemade tomato sauce, unseasoned
½ tsp. red pepper flakes
1 12 oz package gf spaghetti
½-2/3 cup shredded whole milk mozzarella cheese
Fresh basil leaves
Eggplant: Place the eggs in a wide shallow bowl, beat well. Put the potato flakes into a second shallow bowl or a wax paper covered plate. Slice the eggplant into 1/3 inch slices. Dip into the eggs, let excess drip off and dredge in the potato flakes.
Heat a large Teflon pan, add 2 tbsp EVOL. Let heat to medium hot, add the eggplant slices, cook 2-3 minutes a side. Place cooked eggplants on a paper towel lined plate. Do a second batch of slices. I put my cooked slices on a small baking sheet and put them into a 350 oven which I then turned off. They stayed hot and I felt a tad more sure that they were fully cooked.
Make the sauce: heat the remaining EVOL in a large pot, add the onion, sauté until slightly softened; 2 minutes, add the sliced garlic, red pepper flakes, mashed up anchovy fillets, oil of fillets and the tomatoes. Cook, stirring often; 12-15 minutes.
Pasta: Cook the pasta in a big pot of boiling salted water. Drain it one minute before the package directions say it will be done. Save a cup of the pot water to thin the pasta.
Use the eggplant fry pan (wipe out the brown bits of crust) and ladle in 2-3 big scoops of the sauce and the pasta. Cook one minute, turn off the stove and add the cheese, stir well.
Construction of the turrets:
Place a big spoonful of sauce on each plate. Top with an eggplant slice (I used my biggest slices for the bottom layer) and then top with a big twirl of the pasta mixture. Top with another eggplant slice and then another pasta twirl. Do this again. Top with a dab of the red sauce. You can also top it with some hot pepper jelly which is a surprisingly good addition! I did sprinkle our towers with a few torn basil leaves.
Dive in! And check out this cookbook; chock a block full of great relatively healthy recipes. This was one of the more complex ones; most seem fairly straight forward and sound darn delicious.
Originally published in my blog October 2014. I made this the other weekend and decided I just had to share it again. Do use the red pepper jelly if you have any; it is amazing!