You voted eggplants for the next recipe, and here we are.
This is a typical sicilian dish. Fried eggplants. Fresh tomato sauce. Basil. And salty ricotta. That’s what makes a pasta, pasta alla norma.
It’s one of my favorite dish but i rarely make it because I’m not a fan of fried smell in the house. Besides, it takes a little more time to make them than usual, due to the draining of water from the eggplants and the frying process, but it’s really worth the hassle.
If you like parmigiana, you totally must try it, because it’s as much as delicious.
I made it for Goldilocks today and she was in seventh heaven!
Pasta alla Norma
A classic from catania
- 1 medium sized eggplant.
- 1 lb fresh pelati tomatoes.
- Grated salty ricotta.
- Half onion.
- 4-6 Leaves of basil.
- (Optional) 1/4tbsp of little hot chili pepper.
Slice the eggplants in disks of 1/4th of an inch. Put them in a strainer with some salt between every layer, then place a plate to the top with a weight for an hour. This is optional but removes part of the water from the eggplants, which is sour.
In the meanwhile, mince half an onion (1), and sautè it in a pan with olive oil (2), and when golden, add the tomatoes (I usually remove the seeds first) and the chili pepper (3 -Note: in this picture i had to use some tomato sauce i had opened already, but using fresh pelati is much better)
Adjust of salt and pepper, then cook until the sauce is dense. Then turn off the heat and add the basil leaves, broken with your hands and tive one last stir (4).
Take the eggplants out of the strainer, wash them with water to remove the excessive salt, and dry them. This is important to avoid splatters when you’ll fry them.
Fry the eggplants in a frying pan with enough olive oil, then place them in a dish, dry them with a paper towel to remove the oil, and dry them.
Let them cool a moment, and in the meanwhile grate the ricotta.
Cut the eggplants in cubes or stripes (8), and gently add them to the tomato sauce (9). Leave some disks for the garnish.
Cook penne or pennette until al dente in salty water, then add them to the sauce, sautè them at high heat for half a minute to mix all the tastes, helping yourself with a ladle of water from the pasta if too dense, then lower the heat and add a handful of ricotta. Mix them again, then serve, with another handful of ricotta on top and some eggplants and fresh leaves of garlic as garnish.