Monday, September 24, 2012

Pasta alla Norma and back from vacation

Pasta alla Norma

After 11 wonderful days spent in the unforgettable New York I’m back home – very tired and immensely happy. The best trip of my life to a place I intend to go back to many, many times. My heart is full of joy but my feet still hurt from all the walking, so a quick meal is mandatory: this pasta dish is easy to make and tastes great, despite its simplicity – a weeknight favorite.

Pasta alla Norma
slightly adapted from the always amazing and delicious Australian Gourmet Traveller

1 large eggplant, cut into 4cm cubes
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
300ml tomato passata
1 tablespoon tomato paste*
400g short pasta
6 tablespoons ricotta
1 small bunch fresh basil
extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Place eggplant in a colander, sprinkle with 1 tablespoon table salt, weigh down with a plate and allow to drain for 2 hours. Gently dry on kitchen paper. Heat olive oil in a large frying pan and sauté eggplant pieces, in batches if necessary, until golden brown and tender. Drain on kitchen paper and transfer to a bowl.
Add garlic to the frying pan over low heat and sauté until softened. Add tomato passata and tomato paste and cook for 5-7 minutes. Add the eggplant to the sauce and season with freshly ground black pepper.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta in boiling salted water until al dente. Drain, reserving a cup of the cooking liquid. Add this cooking liquid to the tomato and eggplant sauce and cook for 1 minute.
Place pasta in a large serving bowl, add tomato and eggplant sauce and combine well. Add ricotta and basil leaves and a generous drizzle of olive oil. Combine the mixture one more time before serving.

* I did not have any tomato paste at home, so I added 2 tablespoons of homemade tomato sauce packed with lots of basil

Serves 4


Laura (Tutti Dolci) said...

This is one of my favorite pasta dishes! Glad you had a wonderful trip, welcome back! :)

Sue/the view from great island said...

Pasta alla Norma is an old favorite of mine, thanks for the recipe!

Cupcake and Talk said...

So happy to know you had a good vacation. I am looking forward to trying this recipe. Thank you.

Melissa@Julias Bookbag said...

Ah, THERE you are!! I was wondering where you were ;) -- forgot that you went to NY!

Lynna said...

Glad you had a good time in NY! :D This pasta looks great!

ChichaJo said...

NYC!! Truly an unforgettable place! Happy to hear you had a blast! :)

martina said...

So regretting right now not to be in NYC when we didn't have a daughter... now it seems impossible!!
Happy you had a good vacation! And this pasta (as Italian) is really lovely! Martina

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