Eggplant & Pork Ragù Pasta with Homemade Ricotta

You need to start making your own ricotta… we know that we sound completely insane! Why would someone make homemade ricotta when they can go buy a nice little container from the grocery store? When you taste it, you’ll understand. It isn’t expensive to make, it tastes so much better and it’s easy! We added a dollop to every plate of eggplant & pork ragù pasta – and it was perfection!

Eggplant & Pork Ragù Pasta with Homemade Ricotta

Eggplant & Pork Ragù Pasta with Homemade Ricotta

You can use any red wine in our eggplant & pork ragù pasta recipe, but we chose to use a Campo Viejo Reserve Spanish red wine. This medium bodied dry wine is aged for 18 moths in American and French oak casks and then rounded for 18 months in the bottle cellar. We love the perfect balance between the woody and fruity taste of this wine. And the best part? You can polish off the rest of the bottle with your dinner!

And for those of you not YET in love with eggplants, they’re also REALLY good for you, click HERE for an interesting read on the 27 Science-Backed Health Benefits of Eggplant. We love it when things taste good but are also good for you 🙂

Homemade Ricotta

Homemade Ricotta

Eggplant & Pork Ragù Pasta with Homemade Ricotta

  • Prep time:
  • Cook time:
  • Total time:
  • Yield: 6
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Recipe type: Main

Ingredients:

  • RICOTTA:
  • 6 cups 3.25% milk
  • 2 cups 35% cream, we used Old Fashioned cream
  • 3 tbsp distilled white vinegar
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • Extra virgin olive oil, to serve
  • Fleur de sel, to serve
  • RAGÙ:
  • 1 lb pork sausage, remove meat from casing
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced and separated
  • 2 white onions, finely chopped
  • 1 ½ large eggplants, diced into small bite size cubes
  • ½ cup red wine, we used Campo Viejo Reserve
  • 1 bunch spinach, chopped with the stems removed
  • 1 can (28 oz) ground tomatoes
  • 1 lb (454 g) shell pasta, small or medium size
  • ¼ cup Italian parsley, finely chopped
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Oregano, dried
  • Chili pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. RICOTTA: In a heavy pot combine milk, cream, vinegar and sea salt. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook for 2 minutes, you will see that curds have formed
  2. Line a mesh strainer with two layers of a damp cheesecloth over a large bowl. Pour mixture through the cheesecloth in the center of the strainer. Allow to drain for 15-20 minutes
  3. Gather the cheesecloth tightly and strain excess liquid from ricotta. Place the cheesecloth, strainer and bowl in fridge for an additional 20-30 minutes
  4. Transfer ricotta from the cheesecloth to an airtight container, when ready to serve drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with fleur de sel
  5. NOTE: Homemade ricotta can be stored in a refrigerated airtight container for 5 days
  6. RAGÙ: Using your hands mix the sausage meat, 2 cloves of minced garlic, oregano, chilli pepper flakes, and salt and pepper. Set aside
  7. Heat some olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Add onion and eggplant and caramelize for about 6-8 minutes until the eggplant is a light golden color
  8. In another pan cook the seasoned pork sausages with a little bit of olive oil for 4-5 minutes, until browned
  9. Add the pork to the eggplant onion mixture. Add more salt and pepper, as well as the remaining 4 cloves of minced garlic, stir and then add the red wine. Scrape the bottom of the pan so that nothing sticks
  10. Add the spinach until wilted. Add the ground tomatoes, more oregano and chilli pepper flakes. Simmer on low with the lid askew for 45 minutes, stir periodically and watch the ragù thicken
  11. Cook the shell pasta according to package instructions
  12. Once the ragù has simmered, turn off the heat and add the parsley, stir to combine. Add the pasta (you may not use all of it) and mix until It’s coated with sauce
  13. Serve each dish with a dollop of homemade ricotta, that has a light drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of fleur de sel. Polish off the bottle of Campo Viejo Reserve red wine with dinner!

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