Recipes from the Internet

Recipes

Pasta alla Norma

Pasta alla Norma, made with baked or roasted eggplant, ricotta, tomatoes, pasta, and fresh herbs, is an authentic Sicilian dinner that’s welcome any day of the week, any night of the year.

Pasta alla Norma on a white oval serving plate with a spoon resting on the side.

We’ve tried a lot of pasta alla Norma recipes in our day, and we gotta say, after making this one, our search ends. It’s that lovely. Curiously, and perhaps not coincidentally, this is the only one we’ve tried that roasts the eggplant rather than fries it, and we think that makes all the difference. Not just in terms of calories but taste. (As you’re probably well aware, eggplant absorbs oil like a sponge. And, as one of our recipe testers mused, “1/2 cup oil can disappear into one’s pasta sauce only to magically reappear later on one’s waistline.” Just as bad, if eggplant is allowed to soak up oil to its heart’s content, the resulting dish tends to taste heavy and unbalanced rather than intensely eggplanty. Thanks to this easy and amazing recipe, none of us ever have to experience that again.)–Renee Schettler

Pasta alla Norma FAQs

What is ricotta salata?

Italian Ricotta Salata is made from the whey of sheep’s milk that is pressed, salted, and aged for at least three months. It’s perfect for crumbling, grating, and slicing.

When was pasta alla Norma invented?

Legend has it the pasta dish was invented in Catania, Sicily in the 19th century. It was named in honor of Catanian local Vincenzo Bellini, the composer of the opera Norma. 

Can I grill the eggplant instead of roasting it?

Sure can. Rather than dicing the eggplant, cut it lengthwise (from stem to end) into 1-inch thick slices, brush lightly with oil, and grill until cooked through.

Pasta alla Norma

Pasta alla Norma on a white oval serving plate with a spoon resting on the side.

Pasta alla Norma, made with baked or roasted eggplant, ricotta, tomatoes, pasta, and fresh herbs, is an authentic Sicilian dinner that’s welcome any day of the week, any night of the year.

Cal Peternell

Prep 25 mins

Cook 30 mins

Total 55 mins

Entrees

Italian

6 servings

364 kcal

4.86 / 7 votes

  • Heat the oven to 425°F (218°C).

  • Using a vegetable peeler or a paring knife, peel all or some of the skin from the eggplant in stripes (it can be nice to have some, but not all, of the eggplant skin in the final pasta dish). Cut the eggplant into 1-inch dice and toss it on a rimmed baking sheet with enough olive oil to lightly coat it. Sprinkle with salt.

  • Roast the eggplant until browned and very tender, about 20 minutes. The eggplant is done when you can easily squish a cube with your finger and it has a nice, creamy texture.

  • Meanwhile, bring a big pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook, stirring frequently, according to the package instructions.

  • If you’re in a hurry, cut the tomatoes into large dice about the size of, well, dice. Don’t bother removing the skins and seeds. If you have a moment to intensify the flavor of your tomatoes, remove their skins and seeds and dice them, then place the diced tomatoes in a colander, sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt, and let sit for 10 minutes.

  • Warm a large skillet over low heat and add the 4 tablespoons of olive oil. Toss in the garlic and crushed red pepper and stir a bit. Add the basil and a sprinkle of salt, raise the heat to medium, and cook, stirring, until the basil is dark green and wilted, being careful not to burn the garlic.

  • Add the tomatoes, sprinkle with the salt (if you haven’t already), and cook until the tomatoes barely lose their rawness, about 5 minutes. Add the roasted eggplant and let the sauce simmer gently until the pasta is ready.

  • Drain the pasta, reserving about 1 cup pasta cooking water. Toss the drained pasta with the sauce, the mint, and the parsley, tasting and adjusting the seasoning if necessary. If the mixture seems dry, add some of the pasta cooking water, a little at a time, until the sauce is your desired consistency. Toss in the ricotta salata, if using, and pass the Parmesan to grate.

Serving: 1portionCalories: 364kcal (18%)Carbohydrates: 57g (19%)Protein: 10g (20%)Fat: 10g (15%)Saturated Fat: 1g (6%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 6mgPotassium: 196mg (6%)Fiber: 3g (13%)Sugar: 2g (2%)Vitamin A: 261IU (5%)Vitamin C: 3mg (4%)Calcium: 26mg (3%)Iron: 1mg (6%)

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

Originally published August 17, 2015

HUNGRY FOR MORE?

#leitesculinaria on Instagram If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We’d love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Source

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *