Another plus? Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. The sauce is made by removing the flesh from roasted eggplants and adding them to the tomato sauce where they cook down, even more, making a delectable, flavorful dish that I promise you’re going to love! Stir in 1 cup mozzarella. Spray a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with nonstick spray. It was amazing. Rich and delicious. This traditional Sicilian pasta dish of eggplant cooked with tomato sauce makes for a satisfying vegetarian dinner that can be thrown together in under an hour. But now, it’s associated with eggplant and tomato recipes. Finally grate (1/2 cup) a hefty amount of the ricotta salata on the pasta and drizzle extra virgin olive oil on top. If they are not brown and cooked enough return them to the oven for 5 more minutes. Stir the sauce together and bring it to a light simmer for about 10-15 minutes. canned are fine if fresh roma aren’t available. Pick smooth, shiny eggplants that feel heavy for their size. Place the well-coated eggplant on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet or wire rack. Growing up in an Italian-American family, I ate plenty of eggplant and pasta dishes, but it wasn’t until my wife came back from a trip to Sicily that I learned what Alla Norma really was. It’s an easy and delicious, traditional recipe that the whole family will enjoy. Butter in the US and the Rest of the World, US Cups to ounces & grams for common ingredients, This post may contain affiliate links. Serve with more grated cheese. Tear the basil leaves and add to the pasta. Let the paste cook for a couple of minutes in the oil, then add the hand crushed or blender pulsed plum tomatoes. Stir the pasta and Parm into the sauce and warm through, 2 to 3 minutes, adding splashes of pasta water to thin the sauce to your desired consistency. Place the eggplant halves face down on a baking sheet. … Make sure you salt your pasta water. Once your eggplant has drained and been patted dry, add olive oil to a large pan over high heat. Pasta alla Norma is a classic Sicilian dish made up of meaty roasted eggplant, sweet plum tomatoes, fragrant basil, and deliciously salty ricotta Salata. Eggplants turn more bitter they mature. Carefully remove the flesh from the eggplant while it’s still hot by scooping it out with a spoon. Stir it all together and bring sauce to a light simmer for 10-15 minutes of cooking. Mix the basil in, lower the heat and allow to simmer until your pasta is 2 minutes underdone. Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, 2 cups fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, Nonstick cooking spray, for the baking dish, 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan, plus more for serving, Sign up for the Recipe of the Day Newsletter Privacy Policy, Eggplant, Tomato and Mozzarella Pasta Bake. Another take on pasta alla Norma from Lidia Bastianich. If  you do want to reduce the calorie count of the dish, instead of frying you can grill the eggplant slices, though it won’t be quite the same. Though not absolutely necessary cooking the pasta in the sauce really helps it absorb the sauce. Plus, you can save the wine for drinking. Roast in a hot oven for 30 – 35 minutes. Required fields are marked *. While eggplant is roasting start boiling pasta to al dente in salted (2 Tbsp kosher salt per gallon) water. We recommend cutting up your eggplants according to the recipe, and then laying them out with a sprinkle of coarse salt for at least half an hour. This looks is so delicious. It goes very well with Southern Italian white wines, namely Falanghina and Greco di Tufo, or any unoaked Sicilian white you might find; an aromatic Sauvignon Blanc can be a great choice. Use a vegetable peeler to shave off long alternating strips of eggplant peel. I like the sounds of that. Wow, this is such a great idea! It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice. Continue to crush the tomatoes until they are your desired texture. She tried her best to recount her experience to me – describing how after a long day in Castlemola, still dusty with volcan… Brush a rimmed baking sheet with half the olive oil. If the depression remains, the eggplant is old. Substitute Pecorino Romano if unable to find ricotta salata. (Turn the broiler on at the end if you want the cheese to brown more.) Also, add a bunch of torn basil leaves (1/4 cup or so) and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Remove to a plate; do not drain on paper towels. Turn the heat to medium. Cook the pasta until tender but not mushy. Eggplant really absorbs oil like a sponge, so this lightens up the dish. Just make sure you’ve found high quality ingredients and it is hard to go wrong. Then spray them with low-fat cooking spray. I’m craving a bowl as I type. Pour in the crushed tomatoes, add the pepper flakes, and season lightly with salt. Norma was a synonym for great things, as evidenced by the Martoglio quote. Quite good. Most of us have bad memories from some eggplant dish that was gummy and bitter. At it’s base, this dish is a simple tomato sauce, tossed with a short pasta (macaroni, penne, etc) and cooked eggplant. Avoid eggplants that feel lightweight as they may be past their prime. Turn the eggplant cubes onto the baking sheet, toss to coat with oil, and spread them out in an even layer. For a faster version of the dish, start with oil and garlic, and then add cubed eggplant and tomatoes at the same time. Add garlic, cook for 20 seconds until golden, then add onion and cook... Increase heat to medium high and add wine, if using. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Toss well and let the sauce cook with the pasta for 1-2 minutes. Rough chop garlic and saute in 2 -3 Tbsp olive oil in large pan over medium heat until golden. You also find a great deal of creativity with this dish when you leave Sicily, even to the point of including shrimp and other vegetables. Wow, that’s great, it can be difficult getting children to eat eggplant, so glad it was a success! Definitely gonna try them! You’ll find these under the Etna Rossa name, and they have a richness that will go nicely with the eggplant while having the acidity to stand up to the tomato sauce. While the pasta cooks, heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large, deep sauté pan. Rinse the eggplant under cool running water, drain thoroughly, and pat dry. Read our, Pasta with Eggplant Sauce {Pasta Alla Norma}. If the pasta is a little dry add some more of the reserved sauce and if necessary a touch more pasta water. NYT Cooking is a subscription service of The New York Times. Cut the eggplant into 1-inch cubes, and toss in a large bowl with the 2 tablespoons kosher salt. Transfer the pasta to the baking dish and top with the remaining cup mozzarella and the Parmesan and drizzle with the remaining tablespoon olive oil. Adjust accordingly. Bonus - it is super simple making it a quick win for weeknights! This recipe for Pasta Alla Norma {Pasta with Eggplant Sauce} turns everyday pasta into something really special. If you absolutely must have red wine, take a pass on the Chianti and instead grab a Sicilian red from the slopes of Mount Etna.