Sunday, February 28, 2016

Pasta alla norma
1 medium eggplant (1-1/4 lb.)
1/2C olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 anchovy fillets, chopped
10 black olives, pitted and cut into quarters
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
3C canned Italian plum tomatoes with their juice, pureed
salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4C loosely packed fresh oregano leaves
1 lb. fusilli or pasta of choice

3 small eggplant, cut in half, scored, drizzled with olive oil and roasted
  in a 375F oven until tender

1/2C freshly grated parmesan cheese

Trim and peel the eggplant, cut into ½ thick slices and put on a large baking sheet.  Sprinkle liberally with salt and let stand 30 to 40 minutes.  Pat the slices well with paper towels to remove the salt and excess juices and cut into ½-inch cubes.

Heat the olive oil in a large pan over high heat, add the eggplant and cook until the cubes have a bright golden color.  With a large slotted spoon, scoop up the fried eggplant and transfer to paper towels to drain.

Add the garlic, anchovies, olives and chili flakes to the same pan, adding additional oil, if necessary and stir for a minute or two.  Add the tomatoes, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, 8 to 10 minutes.  Puree the sauce and return to the pan.  Add the eggplant and simmer 2 to 3 minutes longer.  Stir in the fresh oregano.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add one tablespoon of salt and return to the boil.  Add the pasta and cook, uncovered, over high heat, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is tender.  Drain the pasta and add to the sauce.  Mix everything together over low heat until well combined.

Divide the roasted eggplant halves among 6 plates, top with pasta and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
MAKES:  6 servings

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