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RECIPE
Serves 2

A CookTale

A Sauce with a glorious history. One version suggests it was named pasta alla norma after Italian composer Vincent Bellini’s much-loved 1832 opera Norma. Others believe that Bellini’s opera was such an outstanding work, the name Norma simply became associated with what’s wonderful, hence the Norma sauce.
This is adapted from a recipe by Mario Batali. A chef who I confidently believe in. I assure you that by following the ingredient list you will prepare a superlative plate of pasta.

INGREDIENTS

2 TB of EVOO + extra for drizzling
1/2 of a medium Red Onion chopped into 1/4″ dice
3 Garlic Cloves thickly sliced (no less than 3 or to taste)
1 28 Ounce can of Italian Plum Tomatoes (San Marzano preferred)
1 Medium Eggplant cut into 1″ dice (skin on)
2 Sprigs of Basil hand torn+full leaves for garnish
2 sprigs of chopped fresh Thyme
6 Ounces of Ricotta Salata, coarsely chopped
1/4 Bunch of flat leaf Parsley Leaves chopped
1/4 Bunch of fresh Mint Leaves chopped
Salt & Pepper (to taste)
A pinch of Red Pepper Flakes (or to taste)
4 to 6 Ounces of Rigatoni (imported if available)

METHOD

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add 2 TB of Salt
2. In a 12″ saute pan heat the 2 TB of Olive Oil until smoking. Add the Red Onion & the Garlic, cook until soft but not yet browned, about 5 to 6 minutes.
3. Add the diced Eggplant & cook, stirring regularly until softened & browned, about 8 to 10 minutes.
Squeeze each of the drained Tomatoes by hand & add them to the pan along with the Basil & the Thyme. Bring to a boil, simmer for 15 minutes to incorporate the flavors. Season to taste with Salt & Pepper.
4. Cook the pasta according to package directions Drain well & pour the hot pasta into the pan.
5. Drizzle with EVOO & plate.

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