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A large white pasta bowl with a wide lip around the edges holding a serving of Pasta alla Norma

Pasta alla Norma

Course: Pasta
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: how to make Pasta alla Norma, Sicilian pasta recipe, vegetarian recipe
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 524kcal
This Pasta alla Norma is a classic Italian dish that is just perfect in every way. The roasted eggplant in olive oil produces such a velvety sauce that just can't be beat. Ricotta salata is the cheese typically used in this dish, but if you can't find it, you can use a mild feta in its place. We love using spaghetti or bucatini for the pasta, but whatever you have on hand will do. This is a real keeper!!
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Ingredients

  • 2 large eggplant
  • 2 tbsp Kosher salt plus more to taste
  • 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 28 oz can San Marzano tomatoes crushed by hand, with juices
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes or to taste
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 lb pasta such as spaghetti or bucatini
  • ½ cup ricotta salata cheese roughly chopped, plus more for garnish
  • ½ cup basil fresh, roughly chopped, plus a few small leaves for garnish
  • ½ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese grated

Instructions

  • Trim the stems from the eggplants and peel strips of the skin about 1-inch wide, leaving about half of the peel intact.
  • Cut the eggplant into 1-inch cubes and toss in a large bowl with the two tablespoons salt.
  • Place in a colander over a large bowl, or in the sink, and let stand for 30 to 45 minutes to drain.
  • Rinse the eggplant under cool running water, drain thoroughly, and pay dry.
  • Preheat oven to 425°F.
  • Brush a rimmed baking sheet with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil. Turn the eggplant cubes onto the baking sheet and toss to coat with oil, and spread them out in an even layer.
  • Bake until the eggplant is very tender and lightly browned, about 25 - 30 minutes. Turn and stir the eggplant gently once or twice to ensure even baking.
  • Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Add the onion and saute until tender, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and saute for another 30 seconds.
  • Add the tomatoes (crushed by hand) and the juices, along with the red pepper flakes and sugar to the pan. Season with a good pinch of Kosher and black pepper (1/2 teaspoon each).
  • Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until the sauce has thickened, about 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil.
  • Add the pasta, and cook until al dente, according to package directions (stirring occasionally).
  • Drain the pasta and return it to the pot over low heat.
  • Pour in about 1/2 of the sauce, tossing lightly to coat the pasta.
  • Remove the pot from the heat, stir in the ricotta salata and basil, then stir in the eggplant. Mix until just blended.
  • Plate the pasta and spoon the reserved sauce over each serving, then top with the Parmigiano-Reggiano and a small basil leaf for garnish.

Nutrition

Calories: 524kcal | Carbohydrates: 69g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 2487mg | Potassium: 588mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 322IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 182mg | Iron: 2mg