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Pasta Alla Norma
Pasta Alla Norma PHOTO: LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

If you’re taking a trip to Italy soon, that’s amazing. (We’re totally jealous.) But for the rest of us, this Sicilian dish from Catania is the next best thing. Presenting pasta alla Norma with eggplant, basil and pecorino cheese. Best of all, you can make four servings for less than $10. Salute!

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Makes 4 servings

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 large eggplant, sliced into 1-inch strips

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 sweet onion, thinly sliced

3 garlic cloves

One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes

1 teaspoon red-pepper flakes

¾ teaspoon dried oregano

1 pound bite-size dry pasta, like rigatoni

¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

¼ cup chopped fresh basil

½ cup grated pecorino cheese

1. In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the eggplant in batches and cook on all sides until golden brown. Remove the eggplant from the pan and set aside on a large plate. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

2. Add the onion to the same pan and sauté until tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, 1 minute more.

3. Stir in the tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Add the red-pepper flakes and oregano, and season with salt and pepper. Simmer 15 to 20 minutes, until the flavor of the sauce develops.

4. While the sauce simmers, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook according to the instructions on the package. Drain well.

5. Add the pasta and eggplant to the sauce; toss well to coat. Add the parsley, basil and pecorino, and toss well to combine. Serve immediately.

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