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SICILY'S PASTA ALLA NORMA

The True Nature Of Sicilian Pasta

Inspired by Sicilian born Bellini's 19th century opera "Norma", Pasta Alla Norma features sautéed eggplant tossed with fresh tomato sauce then crowned with ricotta. 

INGREDIENTS:
2 small/medium eggplants sliced horizontally in 1/2 pieces
1/2 cup fresh olive oil 
1 tablespoon Garlic olive oil
1 tsp dried red chili peppers
6 medium tomatoes roughly chopped or 1 can SAN MARZANO diced, drained of juices
1 tbsp Oregano olive oil 
1 package long pasta (1 lb) (our pick is bucatini)
1/2 cup chopped parsley or basil
1/2 cup grated hard Ricotta Salata (or substitute Pecorino Romano)
Kosher salt to taste
Fresh ground black pepper to taste
 
DIRECTIONS:
In a skillet on medium heat olive oils until shimmering. Add eggplant pieces. Sprinkle with salt. Cook in batches until browned on both sides. Ensure there is no crowding. Remove to a plate, no paper towels. In remaining oil, add crushed chilis, then add tomatoes, cooking for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. In separate pot, cook pasta based upon package directions until just less than al dente. Then using tongs, add pasta and half to full ladle of pasta water to skillet, cooking for another 5 to 7 minutes. While cooking pasta, cut eggplant slices into quarters. Add to pasta and sauce mixture. Top with ricotta and serve in bowls then drizzle garlic and oregano olive oils to taste.