Pasta Alla Norma
30 minutes or fewer
This is a simplified version of a classic Sicilian recipe. Ricotta salata is a sheep’s milk cheese that’s used in Sicilian pasta dishes the way Parmigiano-Reggiano is used elsewhere in Italy. If you can’t find ricotta salata, substitute crumbled or diced feta cheese. Mezzi rigatoni is a half-length version of traditional rigatoni.
- 6 baby eggplants or 2 Japanese eggplants, cut into ¾-inch cubes (4 cups)
- 2 Tbs. olive oil, divided
- 12 oz. cherry tomatoes, halved (2 cups)
- 1 small onion, diced (⅔ cup)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced (1 Tbs.)
- 8 oz. mezzi rigatoni or penne pasta
- 3 oz. ricotta salata, crumbled (¾ cup)
- ¼ cup fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Toss eggplants with 1 Tbs. oil on baking sheet. Roast 10 to 12 minutes, or until tender, turning halfway through.
2. Heat remaining 1 Tbs. oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add tomatoes, onion, and garlic, and cook 8 minutes, or until tomatoes are juicy.
3. Cook mezzi rigatoni according to package directions. Drain, and toss in pot with eggplants, tomato sauce, and ricotta salata. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Serve garnished with basil.
June 2012 p.30