Saranello’s serves up a broad menu of Italian cuisine from pizzas to steaks, fish, and of course pastas. Chef Partner Mychael Bonner is here in our Studio 41 kitchen to share tips on incorporating fresh summer produce and ingredients into your pasta.

601 N. Milwaukee Avenue
Wheeling, IL

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Rigatoni with Charred Eggplant, Melted Cherry Tomatoes & Parmesan
Serving size: 4 people

INGREDIENTS:
1 large eggplant (male eggplant, the male eggplant has less seeds)
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 shallot thinly sliced
2 Tbsp. chopped basil
1 pt. cherry tomatoes
1 lb. bronzed die rigatoni
1Tbsp. red pepper flakes
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. honey
1/2 C. Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
kosher salt and fresh black pepper to taste
extra red pepper flakes and parsley to garnish

METHOD FOR EGGPLANT:

  1. Heat the grill over high heat, place the eggplant onto the grill and cover the lid. Cook for 20 min turning about every five min until the eggplant is blackened on the outside and tender on the inside.
  2. Let the eggplant cool, peel off the blackened skin and then rough chopped the eggplant and reserve.

METHOD FOR TOMATOES:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  2. Using a paring knife, cut a shallow x in the bottom of the tomatoes carefully, lower the tomatoes into the boiling water and remove after 30 seconds once the skins have started to crack
  3. Remove from water and place onto a shallow pan and allow to cool.
  4. Once tomatoes are cool enough to handle peel skins from the tomatoes and reserve.

Both the eggplant and the tomatoes can be prepared in advance

METHOD TO ASSEMBLE PASTA DISH:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil
  2. Meanwhile heat a large skillet over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  3. Add garlic, shallots and chilies and cook until slightly caramelized, about 2 minutes, add Basil and cook for just a few min more
  4. Add reserved cherry tomatoes, reduce heat and cook until tomatoes have popped open approx 5 minutes, stirring often and seasoning with salt and pepper to taste
  5. Meanwhile add pasta to the boiling salted water and cook until desired texture (Chef suggests al dente)
  6. Add the red wine vinegar and honey to the tomatoes and cook for 1 minute
  7. Stir in the eggplant and cook for 2 minutes more
  8. Add in 1/2 cup of reserved pasta water from the pot that the pasta is cooking in and add to the tomatoes and eggplant bring the sauce to a simmer drain the pasta and add it to the sauce stir well to coat
  9. Stir in 1/4 of extra virgin olive oil and 1/2 cup of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano to taste and adjust seasoning if needed
  10. Plate pasta and garnish with Parmigiano-Reggiano and chopped parsley

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