This recipe is safe for Coumadin (warfarin) users.
This recipe contains cheese and some of those who are lactose intolerant may be able to tolerate it.
This is a low sodium recipe.
GERD / Acid Reflux
This recipe contains GERD triggers and those with GERD may wish to avoid it.
This recipe is safe for those who are sensitive to gluten. Use gluten-free pasta in this dish. Check for modified food starch in pre-shredded cheese; it's best to grate your own from a block.
"When you cut that eggplant up and you roast it in the oven and you make the tomato sauce and you put it on top, your soul is in that food, and there's something about that that can never be made by a company that has three million employees." -Mario Batali
I first saw this dish and was a bit skeptical. The first recipe that I saw was intriguing because I love eggplant and am always looking for something new. When I looked at different Pasta Alla Norma recipes, most call for canned tomatoes and the instructions create an essentially basic tomato sauce with the addition of the eggplant and cheese. Some roast the eggplant separately and others don't, and I thought that those that didn't roast the eggplant would just end up too mushy.
Because I had decided to roast the eggplant, roasting fresh tomatoes as well was a natural fit. I love using grape or cherry tomatoes. The smaller tomatoes are full of tomatoey flavor and taste almost like fresh, homegrown summer season tomatoes year-round. I will often roast a few with some shallots and capers to make a simple topping for plain grilled fish.
Because the tomatoes give off a bit of liquid as they roast, they end up making a perfect sauce. When combined with the onions, eggplant, basil, and cheese you end up with a fantastic dish.
Lastly, the choice of cheese is always important. Ricotta salata is the traditional choice for this dish, but might be harder to find for some folks in the smaller amount this recipe calls for. After all, who wants to buy a big block of expensive cheese only to let most of it go to waste? Try pecorino Romano or Parmigiano Reggiano as a substitute. Romano might be a bit closer to the ricotta salata in flavor and saltiness, but Parmigiano will also taste great and you probably already have some on hand.
Servings: 2 | Serving size: 2 ounces pasta with veggies and cheese
Cooking time: 45 minutes
This recipe can easily be multiplied. Leftovers will keep, refrigerated, for about 48 hours.
|2 Tbsp.||extra virgin olive oil (divided)|
|1 lb.||eggplant (cut into 1 inch cubes)|
|2 cloves||garlic (thinly sliced)|
|1 medium||onion (thinly sliced)|
|12 ounces||cherry or grape tomatoes|
|4 ounces||whole wheat or gluten-free linguine pasta|
|1/4 tsp.||red pepper flakes|
|to taste||black pepper|
|8 large leaves||fresh basil (chiffonade)|
|2 ounces||ricotta salata, pecorino Romano, or Parmigiano Reggiano (grated)|
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Place 4 teaspoons of olive oil on a large cookie sheet and add the eggplant. Stir well to coat the eggplant with the olive oil.
Place the tray in the oven and roast the eggplant for 30 minutes. Toss the eggplant every 7 to 10 minutes to cook on all sides.
Place a large skillet on the second shelf of the oven.
After the eggplant has been roasting for about 15 minutes, place the remaining 2 teaspoons of olive oil in the skillet and add the garlic, onion, and tomatoes.
Toss well and return the pan to the oven. Toss occasionally.
Place the water in a large saucepan over high heat.
When the water boils, add the pasta. Cook for about 15 minutes until the pasta is al dente.
After the eggplant has cooked for a total of 30 minutes, remove the eggplant from the oven. Add the red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper and toss well. Set aside.
Set the oven to broil and cook the tomatoes and onions for another 3 to 5 minutes.
While the tomatoes are broiling, drain the pasta.
Remove the skillet with the tomatoes from the oven and add the eggplant mixture, pasta, basil, and cheese.
Toss well and serve.
Serving size: 2 ounces pasta with veggies and cheese
|Calories 534||Calories from Fat 210|
|% Daily Value|
|Total Fat 23g||35%|
|Saturated Fat 7g||35%|
|Monounsaturated Fat 10g|
|Trans Fat 0g|
|Total Carbohydrates 65g||22%|
|Dietary Fiber 16g||64%|
|Vitamin A 15%||Vitamin C 30%|
|Calcium 2%||Iron 20%|
|Vitamin K 24mcg||Potassium 591mg|