Wednesday, February 20, 2013


A few months ago, I got home from work and was blog hopping when I hopped on over to the Tomato Thymes blog.

She had posted a recipe LINK from Saveur magazine for something called Pasta alla Norma.  I had never heard of it but seeing that it used eggplant, and at the time we had a glut of them, I figured why not try it?

Oh my was SO good.  This is a very fresh sauce, not one of those tomato sauces that needs to simmer all day.  I didn't do step by step photos because the evening was late and dinner needed to get on the table, ha, but here is how it came out.

The recipe is as follows with my edits on our changes:


3 medium eggplants, cut into 3/4″ cubes (no need to peel)
8 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1/2 tsp. crushed red chili flakes (or less to taste)
10 cloves garlic, minced
1 28-oz. can whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes, undrained and crushed by hand (this can be messy, be careful)
16 fresh basil leaves, torn by hand
1 lb. pasta
4 oz. ricotta salata, grated (we used crumbled Feta)

Heat oven to 500º. Put eggplant into a bowl and drizzle with olive oil.  Toss to combine and season with salt and pepper.  Transfer eggplant to 2 baking sheets and bake, turning occasionally, until soft and caramelized, about 20 minutes.  Remove and set aside to cool.

Heat remaining oil in a 5-qt. pot over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring, until soft, about 10 minutes. Add chili flakes and garlic and cook, stirring, until garlic softens, about 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and half the basil, season with salt, and cook until heated through, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until just al dente, about 8 or 9 minutes. Drain the pasta and transfer to tomato sauce. Stir in reserved eggplant and toss to combine. Stir in remaining basil and season with salt. To serve, transfer pasta and sauce to a platter and garnish with ricotta salata/feta, OR you can put cooked pasta on the plate and top with the sauce and crumbled cheese.

We actually doubled the recipe and ended up with enough sauce for dinner, a bit for a lunch the next day and this large bag for the freezer.  We've made it several times now and here in the middle of Winter, it's a nice reminder of the Summer to come!


John Gray said...

You need your own tv show for all this cooking
The gay galloping gourmet?

GrafixMuse said...

This looks really good. I am saving it for summer when we have fresh ingredients are available.

1st Man said...

LOL! I think others have beaten us to it, ha.

1st Man said...

Yes, it's a great summer recipe (especially when you are covered up in eggplants, ha).