Blog

Elaine speaks Norma (Pasta alla Norma)

Posted by in Food and Restaurants | September 27, 2012

Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of introducing to you Elaine Trigiani and her passion for Italian culture and food. Today’s recipes are her “gift” to us as we slowly transition into the Fall.

I’m personally not a fan of tomato sauce, so her option of Norma in bianco is definitely a favorite of mine!

Pasta alla Norma

serves 4

3/4 lb pasta (fettucine, margherite or millerighe)

3-4 fresh garlic cloves

6-8 tomatoes, peeled (a minute in boiling water loosens the skins)

bunch of sweet basil, torn into big bits

eggplant, enough for everyone to have a good bit, however many that is depending up on their size

olive oil (high quality extra virgin)

salt

ricotta salata (or substitue with a sharp cheese like pecorino romano)

Peel eggplant in stripes, slice thinly and saute in some olive oil. Just add enough olive oil to a skillet so the eggplant doesn’t stick, cooks nice and brown and then releases the oil it absorbed in the beginning. Turn them in the middle of cooking, drain them on paper towels at the end. They’ll be nice and crispy brown when they’re done.

Finely chop the garlic and saute in a few tablespoons of olive oil. Before it starts to really cook add the tomatoes crushing them with your hands right into the skillet. Swirl about a bit until some of the tomato liquid cooks down but the pieces of tomato are still recognizable.

Meanwhile boil the pasta in abundant and salted water. When the pasta is cooked al dente drain it and add it to the pan with the tomatoes and add the sweet basil. Saute all together for a few minutes to allow the pasta to absorb the flavors of the sauce.

Transfer half the pasta to a serving bowl, add half the eggplant and grate cheese on top, repeat with another layer of pasta eggplant and cheese.

Norma In Bianco – Norma Wears White

serves 4

3/4 lb short pasta

3-4 fresh garlic cloves

bunch of sweet basil, torn into big bits

a few leaves of mint torn into big bits

eggplant, enough for everyone to have a good bit, however many that is depending up on their size

olive oil (high quality extra virgin)

salt

1/2 cup of almonds, toasted, roughly chopped

ricotta salata (or substitue with a sharp cheese like pecorino romano)

Prepare the eggplant as for Pasta alla Norma above.

Finely chop the garlic and saute in a few tablespoons of olive oil. When it’s just beginning to cook add the basil and mint and turn off the heat.

Meanwhile boil the pasta in abundant and salted water. When the pasta is cooked al dente drain it and add it to the pan with the garlic and herbs. Saute all together for a few minutes to allow the pasta to absorb the flavors of the sauce. Add the eggplant and the almonds and saute, adding some of the pasta cooking water a more olive oil if necessary.

Transfer to a serving bowl, grate cheese on top.

Elaine Trigiani is from Mississippi but has been living in Italy for over ten years, first in Sicily now in Tuscany, studying olive oil and Sicilian and Florentine culinary traditions from local producers, farmers, home cooks, chefs and her Sicilian family. She designs and leads culinary travel programs, develops recipes and teaches olive oil tasting seminars and cooking classes in Italy and the United States. Elaine is the author of the DK Eyewitness guide Top 10 Sicily and re-wrote Thomas Cook Travelers Sicily, she has a masters’ degree in art history and is certified as an olive oil taster by the Regione Toscana.

Elaine Trigiani elaine@val.it coming soon .. www.elainetrigiani.com

What is your favorite eggplant dish? Let us know at info@cuitalytravel.com or post a comment on this blog www.cuitalytravel.wordpress.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>