Pasta alla Norma

I don’t much care for eggplant. But I love pasta alla norma. It’s like a cousin of ratatouille, without the squash.

And it couldn’t be easier. The ingredient list is lengthy but simple and except for the mushrooms and eggplant it’s all stuff I have in my pantry at all times. It looks like it’s a process, it’s really not. Plus you can make the sauce and reheat it when you’re ready to eat.

Recipe follows

Pasta alla Norma Recipe

1 large eggplant cut into 1.5 inch chunks

2 cups sliced mushrooms

2 cloves of garlic, chopped fine

3 TBL chopped onion

1 cup sliced olives

6 TBL chopped basil

2 TBL butter

2 TBL olive oil

2 TBL tomato paste

1 tsp anchovy paste

1/4 cup red wine

1 can tomato sauce or ground tomatoes

1/4 cup parmesan

Salt pepper

1/2 LB rigatoni, or whatever. 

Not spaghetti though. Some tube or shape or something.

The first thing you have to do is microwave the eggplant for 10-15 minutes. Put down some coffee filters to absorb the water and turn the chunks every now and then. This gets rid of a lot of water and makes the eggplant more toothsome.

While that is happening. Put your water on to boil for the pasta. And salt the water.

Then put a large sauté pan on high heat. Add half the butter and half the oil, 

when that is shimmering sauté the mushrooms, salt and pepper.

Remove from pan when browned, add the rest of the butter and oil and add the now shriveled eggplant, onions and garlic. When the eggplant is browned, add the mushrooms back into the pan, add the anchovy and tomato paste and combine well.  and continue to sauté for 5 minutes. Add red wine, when that is absorbed into the slop in the pan add the tomato sauce, cover reduce to low.

Put the pasta into the water and when that’s done drain it and add it to the sauce. Grating a lot of parmesan onto each serving.

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