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Sicilian-Inspired Favorite: Pasta alla Norma

This pasta dish is our take on the Sicilian specialty of the same name. Eggplants feature heavily in Sicilian cuisine and this pasta is a staple in many households. We love how eggplants are brought to the forefront here, and they’re spiced up and showcased with garlic and red peppers. This pasta is made up of a delicious sauce that doesn’t take hours to make (win!) and we know that Pasta alla Norma will soon be a favorite in some of your houses too!

Sicilian-Inspired Favorite: Pasta alla Norma

Pasta alla Norma

(Serves 4-6)

Ingredients

2-3 medium eggplants

1 pound casarecce (or any long) pasta

1 can (28 oz) whole tomatoes

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons red pepper flakes

olive oil, as needed

1 teaspoon dried oregano

2/3 cup pecorino romano or ricotta, grated

salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

water, for boiling

Directions

  1. Begin by slicing your eggplants into 1/2-inch thick medallions, seasoning with salt and pepper, and cooking them in olive oil on medium heat. Cook until softened and browned.
  2. You’ll have to do this in batches, so while waiting for eggplants to brown and soften, put a large pot of salted water to boil.
  3. Once eggplant is cooked, remove to a plate and cover. In the same pan, keep the leftover oil from the eggplants and add your garlic. Cook until garlic is lightly browned.
  4. Add the tomatoes, oregano, red pepper flakes and salt and pepper, reduce heat to low and let simmer, gradually thickening. Crush tomatoes with your spoon as they cook.
  5. Cook your pasta according to packaging directions, or until al dente. Take your eggplants and cut them into strips, then add them back into the tomato sauce.
  6. Drain the pasta and toss with pasta sauce and eggplant. Taste and adjust seasoning, if needed. Add grated cheese and serve warm.

Recipe adapted from Saveur

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