Pasta alla Norma

This will be the last recipe I blog from Lucca until the end of summer! I will be going home for the summer, so I may blog some recipes from my mom's kitchen! In the meantime, this is my variation of a famous recipe for pasta with a delicious tomato and eggplant sauce.

 Ingredients for 4 servings:
6 to 8 oz of rigatoni or other large macaroni (shells are also good)
1 small can of plum tomatoes
Extra virgin olive oil
2 small Italian eggplants (the long skinny ones)
About a cup of olives, I used a mix of black and green seasoned olives cut off the pits, but pitted black are the classic choice
A couple of cloves of garlic
Several sprigs of fresh basil
1 small, fresh mozzarella
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
 I generally don't salt and drain the eggplant, but I do for this recipe otherwise the eggplant comes too soft. Chop the egg plant in to cubes (1 - 2 inch cubes). Place in a colander, on plate, and sprinkle the eggplant generously with salt. Let them sit for about 15 to 20 minutes.
 After about 20 minutes you will see the drained liquid in the plate. Now you can rinse, drain and squeeze the liquid out of the eggplant.
 This is what the eggplant should look like after this process.
At this point put a large pot of water on to boil, for cooking the pasta.
 Now, sauté the eggplant in several tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil over medium high heat  in a large non stick fry pan until it starts to brown. At this point add the garlic and continue to brown. When the eggplant is browned on all sides, add the pitted olives and continue to sauté for another minute or two
 This is how your vegetable mix should look.
 Add the pureed tomatoes and several sprigs of basil. Cover and cook over medium low heat for about 10 to 15 minutes.
 While the sauce is cooking, cut the mozzarella into 1/2" cubes.
By now the water is boiling. Add salt and cook the pasta "al dente".
 You sauce should look about like this. Taste it and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
Add the pasta to the sauce in the pan and toss well to coat. Now add the mozzarella dice, making sure it is evenly distributed over the top of the pasta. Put a lid on the pan and let it rest for about 2 min.

Remove the lid and toss the pasta to mix in the melted cheese... serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese

and as Julia Child would have said had she spoken Italian...

            BUON APPETITO!

1 comment:

  1. my own recipe
    mangiata a casa di un catanese doc

    friggere le melanzane tagliate a fette tonde
    sugo al pomodoro come nella tua ricetta
    condire la pasta con il sugo al pomodoro e poi guarnire ilpiatto con quattro o cinque fette di melanzane
    terminare con una bella spolverata di ricotta secca grattuggiata
    ... e buon appetito!