Ayesha Curry always makes this pasta for Steph before games. We tried the recipe.

For years, I’ve been hearing about Ayesha Curry’s legendary “game day pasta.”

In dozens of articles, Ayesha and Stephen Curry have talked about the pasta she makes on Warriors game days.

“From beginning to the end of the season, [I make] my game day pasta recipe,” Ayesha told Page Six in 2017. “I’ve made it for eight years and we’ve been going strong. I sneak eggplant, spinach and all sorts of goodies into the sauce. I make it before every single game.”

My curiosity long past piqued, I decided it was finally time to test out the recipe.

A problem occurred almost immediately. Upon finding the recipe online, there seemed to be something wrong with the proportions. Every version of the recipe suggested a 13.5-ounce can of San Marzano tomatoes. For one, San Marzano tomatoes rarely come in small cans at your standard grocery store; they’re almost always in those big ones. And secondly, for a recipe that demanded a cup and a half of red wine, that just couldn’t be right.

After some frantic googling, I found an old video of Ayesha making the recipe and, sure enough, what appears to be a 28-ounce can can be seen in the shot.

I went with my gut — and the only option at Safeway — and picked up the big can. Once the recipe started coming together, it became clear this was the correct decision. After reducing down the wine, the proportion of wine-to-tomatoes was about 50/50.

(Sidenote: We like the way you think/cook, Ayesha.)

After a quick sauté of the onion, eggplant, garlic and thyme, you add in the liquid ingredients to gently simmer together. During this portion of the process, I went downstairs to grab my laundry. When I came back up, my whole apartment smelled warm and wine-y, like an Italian restaurant-scented candle. It was lovely.

I can see why Ayesha likes this recipe on busy game days: If you boil the pasta while you’re assembling the sauce, everything comes together in less than half an hour. I garnished mine with basil and a healthy helping of parmesan (Stephen doesn’t do cheese on game days, but spaghetti with no cheese makes me sad).

The verdict? It’s a very tasty, easy weeknight meal. The eggplant became tiny wine sponges, which is a wonderful thing for eggplant to be. It fills you up without making you feel heavy, crucial for any carb-loading pregame meal. And, when I reheated it for leftovers the next day, it was still good. I would, however, make some changes the next time around.

The sauce itself was much too thin. Although I simmered it longer than Ayesha’s recipe recommended, there was simply too much liquid to boil off without impacting the flavors and textures. I suspect the eggplant may have been partially to blame. Next time, even though it takes longer, I would salt and squeeze out the eggplant’s surplus moisture.

The second alteration: more protein. Ayesha mentions in a few interviews she sometimes adds ground chicken, turkey or beef. For the first try, I wanted to be true to the original. But the richness (and extra protein) of ground beef would really solidify this recipe in my weeknight rotation.

To try the recipe yourself — perhaps for nervously eating during the NBA Finals — check it out here. But be sure to buy a 28-ounce can of tomatoes, or else you’ll be sipping some very tomatoey wine sauce.

Katie Dowd is the SFGATE senior manager. Send her news tips (or pasta recipes) at katie.dowd@sfgate.com.

This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/warriors/article/ayesha-curry-game-day-pasta-recipe-warriors-13899260.php.

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