Ravioli stuffed with eggplant and lamb (Ravioli di agnello e melanzane)

I have never heard of this filling, but since I like the combination of eggplant, lamb and rosemary I tried it and it was delicious! So here’s how to make them…

Ingredients

For 4 generous servings:

750 grams (1.5 lbs) eggplants

250 grams (0.5 lbs) ground lamb

100 grams (3.5 oz) chopped onion

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

15 grams (1/2 oz) chopped rosemary

freshly grated parmigiano reggiano

salt and freshly ground black pepper

olive oil

3 eggs

300 grams flour for pasta

To serve:

butter

chopped thyme or rosemary

freshly grated parmigiano reggiano

Preparation

Preheat oven to 175C/350F. Wash and dry the eggplants. Cut off both ends from each eggplant.

Cut eggplants into quarters lengthwise to cook the eggplant more quickly. Brush with olive oil on all sides to cook the eggplant instead of drying it in the oven (without the oil, the eggplant couldn’t reach temperatures above 100C/212F before drying out completely). Cook in the oven until tender, about 45 minutes. Check with a fork. (Please note that there is no reason to salt the eggplants.)

Let the eggplant cool slightly until they are cool enough to handle. You can now peel off the skin quite easily.

Cut the eggplant into slices crosswise, thus shortening the tough ‘threads’ that may still be in there.

Grind the eggplant using a foodmill.

(The result is called caviar d’aubergine by the French and can also be used as a great dip or spread to put on crostini if you mix in olive oil and/or fresh goat cheese and herbs and season to taste.)

Sauté the chopped onion, garlic, and rosemary in about 2 tbsp of olive oil over medium-low heat until soft and fragrant, about 5 minutes.

Now add the ground lamb and raisy the heat to medium-high.

Using two (wooden) spoons, sauté the meat into a crumbly mixture with the onions and rosemary.

Add the eggplant including the juices and cook until most of the moisture has evaporated.

Let it cool to room temperature, mix in some grated parmesan to taste and season generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Remember that ravioli stuffing also needs to be seasoned more because you will taste the stuffing less once it’s inside the ravioli. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Now make ravioli according to my instructions.

Serve with melted butter in which you have briefly sauteed some chopped thyme or rosemary and sprinkle with freshly grated parmigiano reggiano.

Wine pairing

Good with pinot noir such as red Burgundy or red Sancerre.

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