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pasta alla norma
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5 from 1 vote

Pasta alla Norma - tomato and eggplant pasta recipe

Pasta alla Norma recipe. It‘s a Sicilian pasta dish made with tomatoes, fried eggplant and a large amount of cheese. It‘s delicious, aromatic and quick to prepare.
Course dinner
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 2 servings
Calories 851kcal
Author Aleksandra

Ingredients

for the pasta:

  • 6.5 oz (180g)pasta fusilli or penne
  • 1 large eggplant / aubergine 320g / 11.3 oz, or 2 very small eggplants
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil for frying not extra virgin, you can also use another frying oil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 tablespoons dry white wine 45 ml
  • 1 can tomatoes 400 ml / 14 oz
  • 3 large fresh basil leaves or ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • 4 heaped tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese or ricotta salata firm ricotta
  • salt and pepper to taste

to serve:

  • grated parmesan or ricotta salata to sprinkle
  • fresh basil leaves

Instructions

  • Cook the pasta al dente (it should have a bite to it).
  • Cut the eggplant into 1 cm / ½ inch slices, then into 1 cm / ½ inch 'fries'. You can cook it right away or better, if you have time, sprinkle with a teaspoon of salt, wait 10-15 minutes, then dry thoroughly with paper towels. The salt extracts water from the eggplant, so it‘s easier and quicker to fry and less oil can be used.
  • Heat the oil on a large frying pan, spread the eggplant evenly, cook over high heat, without stirring, for about 3 minutes, then cook for 4 more minutes, stirring from time to time, until the eggplant is browned and tender. Transfer to a plate.
  • Reduce the heat under the pan, add the finely chopped garlic and dried oregano (and dried basil, if you‘re not using fresh leaves), cook for 30-60 seconds, stirring, then add butter, cook until melted.
  • Add the wine, stir until almost completely evaporated.
  • Add the canned tomatoes, break them up into smaller pieces with a spatula, cook over low heat for about 5 minutes, adding basil leaves at the end. Scrape all browned bits from the bottom of the pan with a spatula.
  • Blend the sauce until smooth, season with salt and pepper to taste (you can use a hand/immersion mixer to do this, but I would transfer the sauce into a high-rimmed bowl first, as it tends to splash when blended directly on the pan).
  • Add the cooked pasta, grated cheese and fried eggplant to the pan, mix together, season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve sprinkled with basil leaves and grated cheese.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

  • If you want to deep fry the eggplant: heat frying oil in a high rim frying pan/medium pot. The ideal oil temperature is about 180°C / 356°F. It must be well heated, so that the eggplant doesn‘t absorb much oil, but also not too hot – the fries will brown too quickly and won‘t be soft in the middle. Fry in batches, until the eggplant is nicely browned and soft. Do not throw all eggplant fries at once, the temperature of the oil will drop too much. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels.
  • Calories count = 1 serving (1/2 of the recipe).
  • Which pasta type to use: you can use many types of pasta, it all depends on how you‘ll cut the eggplant. If you‘re using penne it‘s best to cut the eggplant into big chunks, if spaghetti – into small cubes and in case of fusilli - into ‚fries‘, as in the recipe. I used fusilli because I like it and I just had it in my pantry.
  • Eggplant - make sure you buy really fresh eggplants. A good and fresh eggplant should have a shiny and smooth skin. Wrinkled and dull skin is a sign that the eggplant is old or was poorly stored, its skin will be most likely tough and chewy. If your eggplants are not very fresh you can peel them.

Nutrition

Calories: 851kcal