Paccheri with ricotta cream (that is lemon-scented) and saffron-flavoured cubed vegetables are an elegant, refined first course in both taste and appearance, and will satisfy the most demanding vegetarian palates. The trick for a perfect dish is to choose first-rate ingredients that can naturally flavour the dish without burdening it with excess fat or spices.
Paccheri with ricotta cream and saffron-flavoured cubed vegetables
Ingredients for 8 persons:
500 g of paccheri (pasta)
2 summer zucchini
1 purple eggplant
1 kilo of Ricotta
1 sachet of safron
1 coffeecup of Extra virgin olive oil (EVO)
5 tablespoons of Table salt
3 dashes of Black pepper
Peel the carrots and cut them into small cubes. Rinse the zucchini and eggplant, and cut them into cubes of the same size.
Drizzle some olive oil into a large saucepan, heat it, and add the eggplant, zucchini, and carrots. Cook for a few minutes on high heat, then pour in a glass of water, season with salt and pepper, add the saffron, and lower the heat. Cover with a lid and cook for twenty minutes, adding water if necessary.
Put the ricotta in a blender with a few tablespoons of whey or water.
Puree the ricotta and put 2/3 and 1/3 of it in two separate bowls. Add the vegetables to the smaller ricotta portion and mix thoroughly. Squeeze the juice out of one lemon, strain it, and add it to the larger ricotta portion.
Cook the paccheri al dente in plenty of salted boiling water with a few drops of olive oil.
Heat up the lemon-scented ricotta cream.
Pour two ladlefuls of ricotta cream in a soup dish, add 3-4 paccheri, then a layer of cubed vegetables, another layer of paccheri, a layer or vegetables, the last two paccheri, and a final layer of saffron-flavoured vegetables. Season with black pepper and serve.