Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Pasta alla Norma

I made this a few weeks ago (along with cherry chocolate almond biscotti, thai basil with eggplant, stir-fried tofu with spicy orange sauce, and what was supposed to be pumpkin quinoa muffins that I made with an over-ripe banana and some applesauce) and have been too busy to post until now. This recipe was featured in C00k's Illus. and was absolutely delicious. It also contains a helpful tip for prepping the eggplant because if you've ever made an eggplant dish you know it takes a while to cook and then brown and it soaks up a lot of oil in the process. If you love eggplant this recipe is for you.

1 1/4 to 1 1/2 lb eggplant (globe eggplant or similar weight of Asian or Japanese)
kosher salt
4 med. garlic cloves, minced
2 anchovy filets or 1 generous tsp of anchovy paste (don't skip this ingredient--trust me)
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
1 lb penne or rigatoni
6 Tbs chopped fresh basil
1 Tbs olive oil
3 oz ricotta (I skipped this and used grated parmesan)

Cut eggplant into 1/2" cubes and toss with 1 tsp salt. Line a plate with coffee filters or paper towels and dump eggplant over top. Microwave on high and uncovered for about 5 minutes. Stir eggplant and microwave for another 5 minutes or until dry to the touch. Set aside to cool.

Heat 1 Tbs olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat until shimmery. Pour in eggplant and cook, stirring occasionally, until well-browned, about 10 minutes. Turn off heat, set aside eggplant and add 1 Tbs olive oil to pan along with anchovies, garlic and pepper flakes. Add tomatoes and turn heat to medium high until sauce begins to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 8-10 minutes or until slightly thickened.

Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions. Reserve 1/2 C pasta water and drain the rest. Turn up heat on sauce to medium high and add eggplant, cooking 3-5 minutes or until heated through. Stir in basil and season with salt if needed. Stir in pasta adding the reserved water if needed. Serve with ricotta or parmesan.

5 comments:

gwen1234 said...

Yum. How was the tofu with orange sauce?

Kelly said...

Fab, but I wasn't able to use freshly squeezed and therefore did not have any orange zest which I think would have been a good addition. It would have been good with shrimp but I didn't have any. Also, the biscottis? Seriously good eats. I am definitely going to make them again. I also realized, too late, that they would make an awesome hostess gift because they're supposed to be hard.

gwen1234 said...

Good call. Maybe also good to send in the mail -- I am always looking for something you can send without it falling apart or getting obviously stale.

H said...

I used your tip about eggplant for a different recipe tonight (still pasta, just with other stuff) and it worked great. thanks!

H said...

oh wait. I broiled it instead of doing it in the skillet, but still the microwave trick is a very good one. It was so nice to have silky textured eggplant and not puckery-salty eggplant.