Pasta Alla Norma with Roasted Eggplant & Tomatoes

Pasta alla Norma is a Sicilian dish of fried eggplant and pasta in a tomato sauce, usually served with ricotta salata (a drier, salted version of ricotta). 

It’s one of my favorite dishes to make with summer eggplant and tomatoes when we have an abundance of them in the garden!

Cooking from the Garden

Carrying on with the theme of developing recipes based on what we have in our garden, we have lots of eggplant exploding out of our raised beds right now, as well as plum tomatoes, herbs, and chilies.

We’re growing Japanese eggplant this year in particular, which we prefer to use for all of our eggplant recipes. The skin is less tough, and these eggplants have smaller seeds. (That said, if you can only find regular globe eggplants for this dish, feel free to use them!) 

They’re growing rapidly, and we have a few eggplants and tomatoes to harvest every single day. Keeping up with this bounty is easy when you have a recipe like this in your arsenal. 

Roasting Rather Than Frying

In this version, rather than frying the eggplant, which can require a lot of oil, I roast it. I also roast the tomatoes, which I think develops their sweetness better than cooking them in a pan. (See: Roasted Cherry Tomato Pasta Puttanesca and Slow-Roasted Tomato Pasta). 

The eggplant gets baked down until tender and golden brown, and in the same oven, the tomatoes roast until they’re sweet and juicy. 

Along with a few other choice ingredients from the garden—parsley and basil, as well as our anaheim chilies for a little kick (these have been growing like crazy too), you get a fresh yet complex dish. 

Note!

If you can’t find anaheim chilies, you can substitute ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or leave out this element entirely. 

All in all, this is a summer favorite, and an easy recipe to boot! It’s all about fresh farm stand or garden ingredients, and you really don’t have to do much to make them taste amazing! 

Pasta alla norma served with red wine

Recipe Instructions

Preheat your oven to 400°F. 

Cut the tomatoes into 1-inch pieces. If using grape or cherry tomatoes, leave them whole. Drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.

Chunks of tomato on baking sheet with olive oil, salt, and pepper

Dice the eggplant into 1-inch cubes. Spread the eggplant cubes on a baking sheet, and drizzle generously with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Chunks of eggplant on baking sheet with olive oil, salt and pepper

Roast the tomatoes and eggplants in the oven for about 30-35 minutes, or until the eggplant is softened and browned and the tomatoes are wrinkled and juicy. Halfway through roasting, switch the pans (so the top pan is on the bottom and vice versa), and stir the tomatoes and eggplant to ensure even browning.

Roasted tomatoes

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Boil the spaghetti 1-2 minutes short of al dente

Adding spaghetti to boiling water

While the pasta is cooking, heat 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat, and add the garlic and chilies.

Garlic and chilies in olive oil

Cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the tomato paste, and fry for another 2-3 minutes. 

Adding tomato paste to garlic and chilies

Add about ⅔ cup of the pasta cooking water, and stir in the roasted tomatoes and eggplant, along with the oregano. Season with salt and pepper. 

Adding roasted tomatoes to pan
Adding eggplant to pan

Add the pasta to the mixture, along with about ½ cup of pasta water.

Adding pasta water to pan of tomatoes and eggplant
Adding spaghetti to sauce in pan

Toss the pasta in the mixture over medium low heat for another 1-2 minutes, and keep adding water a ¼ cup at a time until the sauce is silky and coats the pasta. 

Tossing pasta alla norma in skillet

Add the parsley and/or basil…

Adding chopped parsley and basil to pasta

…and toss it in!

Tossing pasta alla norma together before serving

Serve with ricotta salata (or pecorino or parmesan if that’s what you’ve got!) 

Pasta alla norma in white bowl
Pasta alla norma close up
pulling up a forkful of pasta alla norma

Pasta alla Norma with Roasted Eggplant & Tomatoes

This roasted version of a Pasta alla Norma recipe (a Sicilian pasta with fried eggplant, tomato, and ricotta salata) packs in maximum flavor!

Pasta Alla Norma

serves: 4

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 400°F.

  • Cut the tomatoes into 1-inch pieces. If using grape or cherry tomatoes, leave them whole. Drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.

  • Dice the eggplant into 1-inch cubes. Spread the eggplant cubes on a baking sheet, and drizzle generously with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

  • Roast the tomatoes and eggplants in the oven for about 35-40 minutes, or until the eggplant is softened and browned and the tomatoes are wrinkled and juicy. Halfway through roasting, switch the pans (so the top pan is on the bottom and vice versa), and stir the tomatoes and eggplant to ensure even browning.

  • Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Boil the spaghetti 1-2 minutes short of al dente.

  • While the pasta is cooking, heat 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat, and add the garlic and chilies. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the tomato paste, and fry for another 2-3 minutes.

  • Add about ⅔ cup of the pasta cooking water, and stir in the roasted tomatoes and eggplant, along with the oregano. Season with salt and pepper.

  • Add the pasta to the mixture, along with about ½ cup of pasta water. Toss the pasta in the mixture over medium low heat for another 1-2 minutes, and keep adding water a ¼ cup at a time until the sauce is silky and coats the pasta.

  • Toss in the parsley and/or basil. Serve with ricotta salata (or pecorino or parmesan if that’s what you’ve got!)

Tips & Notes:

NOTE: Nutrition info calculated based on using about ⅓ cup olive oil for this recipe.

nutrition facts

Calories: 480kcal (24%) Carbohydrates: 89g (30%) Protein: 19g (38%) Fat: 6g (9%) Saturated Fat: 3g (15%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g Monounsaturated Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 16mg (5%) Sodium: 227mg (9%) Potassium: 1378mg (39%) Fiber: 12g (48%) Sugar: 17g (19%) Vitamin A: 2957IU (59%) Vitamin C: 51mg (62%) Calcium: 151mg (15%) Iron: 3mg (17%)

Credit : Source link

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