Pasta Alla Norma

pasta-alla-norma
Photo Credits: Paoletta S. via Flickr

Pasta can be cooked in many varieties in Italian cuisine. This is an easy recipe to prepare Pasta alla Norma which is basically a combination of pasta and eggplant (brinjal). This dish may be served as main course or even as a side with other items at main course dinner table.

Ingredients

  • Penne pasta                                                        400 gms
  • Olive oil                                                              4 tablespoons
  • Garlic cloves, finely chopped                               2
  • Fresh tomatoes                                                   400 gms
  • Coarsely chopped fresh basil                               ½ cup
  • Cooking oil for deep frying                                  2 cups
  • Eggplant, thinly sliced                                        400 gms
  • Salt and pepper                                                  To taste
  • Crumbled Cheese                                                For garnish

Procedure

  1. Place eggplant slices on a colander in a single layer and sprinkle with some salt, turn over the slices and sprinkle with some salt on this side too.
  2. Place a flat plate or baking sheet on the eggplant slices and put some weight on it. Leave for an hour so to let the bitterness of eggplants squeeze out with its water.
  3. Put a pot over medium high heat with enough water in it to boil. Make small cuts at the bottom of tomatoes and throw into boiling water for a very short time and pick out instantly using slotted spoon. Let them cool down a bit then peel off the skin from tomatoes. Get rid of the juice and seeds and then chop them.
  4. Put a pan over medium heat with olive oil in it.
  5. Add in chopped tomatoes, basil and a little water.
  6. Season with salt and pepper, cook for 15 minutes stirring occasionally or until tomatoes are cooked through and liquid is almost evaporated.
  7. Rinse eggplant slices under running water to get rid of salt and pat dry using paper towels.
  8. Put a frying pan over medium heat with oil in it. Slide in eggplant slices and deep fry in batches until golden brown. Drain out using slotted spatula on to paper towel so as to remove excess oil.
  9. Boil the pasta al-dente or as per choice and then drain it and mix with the sauce.
  10. Arrange fried eggplant slices on the serving platter and load cooked pasta with sauce on top.
  11. Sprinkle with crumbled cheese and garnish with whole basil leaves. Serve warm.

Preparation Time: 50 minutes

Serves: 4

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