Friday, September 2, 2016

Pasta alla Norma {Gluten-Free}

Pasta alla Norma is a simple but tasty and colorful recipe from Sicily. Named for Vincenzo Bellini's opera "Norma."

The story goes that in 19th century Nino Martoglio, a Sicilian poet and theater director, was so enamored when he first tried this pasta dish that he compared it to “Norma,” Bellini’s masterpiece. The name persisted.

  • 3 T olive oil + more for serving
  • 1 T butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 eggplant, peeled and diced
  • 8 to 10 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 to 2 T fresh basil, chopped + whole leaves for garnish
  • 1 t fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1 C whole milk ricotta
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • gluten-free pasta
  • parmigiano reggiano for serving

Lightly salt the eggplant cubes and let stand for at least 30 minutes. Melt butter in olive oil over low heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until softened but not browned, approximately 2 minutes.

Stir in the eggplant and until the eggplant loses it opacity, approximately 10 minutes. Add in the tomatoes (and their juices). Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have melted down and the sauce has thickened, approximately 25-30 minutes.

While the sauce simmers, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

Stir in the ricotta and the herbs into the tomato sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper, as needed. Toss the cooked pasta into the sauce until nicely coated. Add a splash of olive oil and toss to make it glossy

Serve individual portions topped with a fresh basil leaf.

Let diners grate parmigiano reggiano over the top to their liking. As you can see my kids like a little pasta with their cheese!

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