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Orecchiette Dell'ortolano
Yield: 6 servings

1 lb eggplant, washed and sliced 1/2 inch thick, unpeeled
2 red bell peppers, fire-roasted, peeled and seeded
1/2 lb asparagus, cleaned, boiled and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 lb fava beans, peeled
1 lb orecchiette pasta
salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste
4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, peeled & chopped

Brush the sliced eggplant with some of the olive oil and sprinkle
with salt and pepper to taste. Broil the eggplant on both sides,
turning it once, until it is soft and nicely brown. Cut into large
cubes and set aside. Put the bell peppers on an open flame to scorch
them and remove the skin, seeds and core (or seed and core the
peppers, cut them into quarters and place them under the broiler
to loosen the skin). Cut the pepper into medium strips and set

Cook the asparagus spears in lightly salted water for about 4
minutes. Drain and let them cool. Do not put them into cold water.
Cut the asparagus into 1 inch pieces and set aside. Peel off the
rough outer skin of the fava beans. Remove the tender little
membrane in the inside pods. Discard all but the little bean.

Drop the pasta into rapidly boiling, lightly salted water. Stir
well, and often, for about 8 minutes or a little less (the pasta
must be al dente). Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet
and when it is hot add the garlic. Saute the garlic for about 1
minute or until it is just golden. Add the eggplant, bell pepper,
asparagus, fava beans and some salt and pepper to taste. Let the
mixture cook for about 3 minutes on medium heat.

When the pasta is done, drain off all but a tiny bit of cooking
water. Add pasta to the skillet with the other ingredients and toss
well. Serve very hot in heated pasta bowls. Serves 6.


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