Pasta alla Norma II

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 small, firm eggplants (about 2 pound), trimmed (but not peeled), cut into 12-inch cubes
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or pushed through a garlic press
  • 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes (or to taste)
  • 6 cups canned plum tomatoes with juices
  • 1 up torn basil leaves
  • 1 pound ridged ziti or rigatoni
  • 1 cup crumbled ricotta salata (a salted, dry ricotta cheese)

Instructions Warm the olive oil for 1 minute in a large saute pan set over medium high heat. Add the eggplant and cook and stir until the eggplant softens a bit. Add the onion, garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook & stir until the onion softens.

Crush the tomatoes by hand or use a hand-held blender. Add the tomatoes to the saute pan with the eggplant and onion. Add the basil leaves. Simmer the sauce for an hour or more to reduce.

While the sauce is simmering, cook the pasta in boiling salted water until it is al dente. Drain well.

Divide the pasta among heated pasta bowls. Spoon some of the sauce over the pasta. Sprinkle some of the ricotta salata over each portion.

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