Tagliatelle e Melanzane (Tagliatelle & Eggplant)

August 11, 2010

Pleasure is divided into six classes: food, drink, clothes, sex, scent and sound.
Of these, the noblest and most consequential is food…the pleasure of eating is above all pleasures.

~Al-Baghdadi

From the word tagliare, meaning “to cut,” tagliatelle is a traditional pasta from Emilia-Romagna, a poetic region in central northern Italy between the fertile Po River and the gentle Apennines and bordered on the east by the Adriatic. A culinary constellation, Emilia-Romagna is home to such rustic cornerstones as prosciutto di Parma, culatello, mortadella di Bologna, zampone, Parmigiano-Reggiano, aceto balsamico

Tagliatelle are long, flat, thick ribbons with a porous texture that are similar in shape to but a little wider than fettuccine. Legend has it that a talented Renaissance court chef was so enamored by the noblewoman Lucrezia d’Estes’ beautiful blonde tresses, that he dedicated this new pasta to her on the occasion of her nuptials to the Duke of Ferrara. The wedding dish was called talgiatelle all amaniera di Zafiran, which means in the manner of Zafiran or saffron. However, this tale may be born of more questionable food lore. The actual nascense of tagliatelle may have been much earlier, as it was depicted in texts well over a century before the wedding.

Eggplants of all shapes, sizes, colors and varieties are ubiquitous this time of year at our local farmers’ market. So, I am regaling in those dark, suave ones.

Buon appetito!

TAGLIATELLE E MELANZANE (TAGLIATELLE & EGGPLANT)

2 medium eggplants, cut in half lengthwise and then into 1/4″ slices
Extra virgin olive oil
Canola oil
Red wine vinegar
1 C fresh basil leaves, ribboned
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 superior anchovy filets, rinsed, dried and chopped
3 plump, fresh garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
3 T extra virgin olive oil
2 C arugula

1 lb. tagliatelle, preferably fresh

Parmigiano reggiano, grated

Pour equal amounts of olive oil and canola oil into a deep, heavy pan until about 2 1/2″ deep. Heat oil until hot and fry eggplant slices one layer at a time until browned on both sides. Remove and drain on paper towels, then cut the cooked slices into thirds. Place on a platter and sprinkle lightly with red wine vinegar. Then toss with basil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Allow the eggplant to marinate for about an hour.

In a deep, heavy skillet, heat the anchovies and garlic in olive oil heated to medium high. Gently sauté for a few minutes, then add the eggplant. In a heavy pot filled with liberally salted water, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain and add to the skillet. Season again with pepper, add arugula, toss and serve with freshly grated parmigiano reggiano.

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One Response to “Tagliatelle e Melanzane (Tagliatelle & Eggplant)”

  1. Fran padow Says:

    This sounds fabulous.


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