Pasta alla Norma (Eggplant Pasta)
Pasta alla norma is a traditional Sicilian pasta dish that features fried eggplant, tomatoes, ricotta, and basil. It was inspired by Bellini’s opera “Norma.”
Cut the ends off the eggplants before slicing them into 1/3-inch pieces.
Slices of eggplant are layered in a big bowl, with coarse salt sprinkled on top of each layer.
To extract any bitterness, allow to sit for at least two hours.
Make the tomato sauce in the interim.
In a saucepan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil heated to medium heat, cook the garlic for 2 minutes, or until it begins to brown.
Don’t use garlic.
Add the peeled tomatoes and bring to a boil.
Cook for about five minutes, or until the tomatoes begin to break down.
Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes or until sauce thickens.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Add two-thirds of the basil, then simmer for three more minutes.