Pasta alla Norma Recipe
Don’t bother to brine these delicious eggplants as their bitterness is barely noticeable. Excellent grilled or baked and blended with tahini and lemon juice for baba ganoush. For a full meal, try this an easy and filling pasta dish.
- 2 small eggplants (about 3/4 pound each), cut into approximately ½” x 1” pieces
- Sea or kosher salt
- Olive oil
- 5-6 garlic cloves, chopped
- ½ cup chopped onion
- 4-5 good-sized fresh tomatoes, chopped (or 1-28 oz can organic, whole plum tomatoes, crushed by hand, with juice)
- ½ tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 cup torn fresh basil leaves
- 3/4 pound dried pasta, like penne or rigatoni
- 1 cup shaved Parmigiano or Pecorino
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Heat several tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet. Fry small portions of eggplant at a time, until golden brown, seasoning with salt, remove and set aside. Continue until all eggplant is browned.
- Once eggplant is browned add 2 tablespoons oil to the skillet and sauté onions until just beginning to soften, add garlic and toss another minute until slightly golden, then add tomatoes and pepper flakes.
- Bring to a simmer, return eggplant to the pan, add half of the basil and continue to simmer on low. Cook pasta until al dente, reserve ½ cup or so of the pasta cooking water and drain.
- Taste sauce and add additional salt if needed. Add cooked pasta to pan and stir well to combine. If the sauce seems dry add some of the pasta water. Add cheese and remaining basil and serve with a drizzle of very good olive oil, if desired.