Spaghetti alla Norma
Indulge in the rich flavors of Italy with this tantalizing Pasta alla Norma recipe. Hailing from the sun-soaked island of Sicily, this dish pays homage to the traditional flavors of the region. Picture al dente pasta tossed in a vibrant tomato sauce, topped with golden slices of sautéed eggplant and fragrant basil leaves. Every bite is a symphony of taste and texture, leaving you craving for more. The combination of sweet and tangy crushed tomatoes, earthy oregano, and a hint of garlic creates a sauce that clings lovingly to each strand of pasta. The caramelized eggplant adds a velvety smoothness and a hint of smokiness, while the torn basil leaves provide a fresh and aromatic finish. A sprinkle of grated ricotta salata or Parmesan cheese elevates the flavors to new heights. Whether you're hosting a dinner party or seeking a comforting weeknight meal, Pasta alla Norma is a showstopper that will transport your taste buds to the sun-drenched shores of Sicily. Buon appetito!
1 pounds spaghetti, dried
1 large eggplant, globe, Italian
1/4 cups olive oil
4 clove garlic, peeled
28 fl. oz. tomatoes, canned, crushed
1 1⁄2 tsps oregano, dried
1 pinch Calabrian chile paste, to taste
1 pinch salt, to taste
1 small ricotta salata, sub - parmigiano
Begin by preparing the eggplants. Slice them into 1/2-inch rounds, then sprinkle salt on each side and let them sit for about 30 minutes. This helps remove any bitterness. Afterward, rinse the eggplant slices and pat them dry with a paper towel.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the eggplant slices and cook until they become golden brown on each side, about 3-4 minutes per side. You may need to do this in batches. Remove the cooked eggplant from the skillet and set it aside on a plate lined with a paper towel to absorb any excess oil.
In the same skillet, lower the heat, and add the remaining sauté the thinly sliced garlic and cook for an additional minute until translucent
Pour the crushed tomatoes into the skillet and add the dried oregano and red pepper flakes (if using). Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir well and let the sauce simmer for about 15-20 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together.
While the sauce is simmering, cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain the cooked pasta and set it aside.
Once the sauce has thickened and the flavors have developed, add the cooked pasta to the skillet with the sauce and the eggplant pieces. Toss the pasta gently to coat it evenly.
To serve, place the pasta on a serving platter or individual plates. Arrange the cooked eggplant slices on top of the pasta. Garnish with torn fresh basil leaves and grated ricotta salata or Parmesan cheese.
Enjoy your Pasta alla Norma while it's still hot!