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Pasta Alla Norma

Pasta alla Norma is a super satisfying Italian recipe with eggplant, basil, garlic, plum tomatoes, and ricotta Salata.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 809kcal
Author James

Ingredients

  • 1 pound eggplant
  • 1 block ricotta salata
  • 1 pound rigatoni
  • 1 28 ounce can whole plum tomatoes hand crushed or blender pulsed
  • 1 6 ounce can tomato paste
  • 1 bunch fresh basil
  • 5 cloves garlic chopped
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup extra virgn olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425f.  Dice eggplant into 3/4" thick cubes.  Toss eggplant well with 1/2 cup or more of olive oil, 1 tsp kosher salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper.  Spread eggplant out onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet or wire rack.  Roast the eggplant in middle of oven for 25-30 minutes or until golden and fully cooked through.  
  • While eggplant is roasting start boiling pasta to al dente in salted (2 Tbsp kosher salt per gallon) water.  Rough chop garlic and saute in 2 -3 Tbsp olive oil in large pan over medium heat until golden.  
  • Add 1 can of tomato paste to pan and cook for 2-3 minutes longer.  Next, add the hand crushed plum tomatoes along with the 1/2 tsp oregano and 1/2 tsp of crushed red pepper flakes.  Stir it all together and bring sauce to a light simmer for 10-15 minutes of cooking.
  • After sauce is cooked, remove about half of it from the pan and set aside.  Add a couple tablespoons of pasta water if the sauce is too thick and add the pasta to the sauce.  Toss well and let the sauce cook with the pasta for 1-2 minutes.  Add the eggplant pieces and give it another stir to coat.
  • Remove from heat and if the alla norma is a little dry add back some of the reserved sauce.  Tear the basil leaves and add to the pasta.  Finally grate (1/2 cup) a hefty amount of the ricotta salata on the pasta and drizzle extra virgin olive oil on top.  Bring to the table and serve with more ricotta salata, extra virgin olive oil and the side of sauce for anyone who would like more.  Enjoy!

Video

Notes

  • Makes 4 large or 6 regular size servings.
  • No extra salt was added to the sauce because of the inherent saltiness of ricotta salata.  Adjust accordingly.
  • Substitute Pecorino Romano if unable to find ricotta salata.
  • If the pasta is a little dry add some of the reserved sauce and/or pasta water to loosen it up before serving.
  • Though not absolutely necessary cooking the pasta in the sauce really helps it absorb the sauce.

Nutrition

Calories: 809kcal | Carbohydrates: 77.1g | Protein: 22.1g | Fat: 48.6g | Saturated Fat: 10.3g | Cholesterol: 113mg | Sodium: 1047mg | Potassium: 465mg | Iron: 5.2mg