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Rigatoni alla Norma

Rigatoni alla Norma

Norma is the name of a famous opera written in the early 19th century by composer Vincenzo Bellini. Because Bellini was native to Cantania, Sicily, it’s believed that a chef in Cantania named his eggplant and pasta dish after the opera to honor the work of art and its grandeur. Pasta alla Norma always features eggplant, a vegetable found in many popular Sicilian dishes, and some form of ricotta cheese.

Rigatoni alla Norma  ingredients
  • 3 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 Red Onion
  • 1 Large Bunch Basil
  • 1 Eggplant
  • 8 Ounces Fresh Rigatoni
  • Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 Can Diced Tomatoes
  • 2 Ounces Ricotta Salata Cheese
Prepare your ingredients:
1 Prepare your ingredients:
Heat a large pot of salted water to boiling on high. Peel and slice the garlic and red onion. Tear the basil leaves into bite-sized pieces. Trim and large dice the eggplant.
Cook the eggplant, onion, & garlic:
2 Cook the eggplant, onion, & garlic:
In a large pan, heat a thin layer of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the eggplant; season with salt and pepper, and cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden on all sides, stirring occasionally. Add the onion and cook 1 to 2 minutes, or until slightly softened. Add the garlic and cook about 1 minute, stirring until fragrant and golden.
Make the sauce:
3 Make the sauce:
Add the red pepper flakes and diced tomatoes to the eggplant in the pan. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer the sauce 2 to 3 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Stir in half the basil and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Boil the pasta & add it to the sauce:
4 Boil the pasta & add it to the sauce:
While the sauce simmers, add the pasta to the pot of boiling water and cook 4 to 5 minutes, or until al dente (cooked through with a little bite). Reserve a little cooking water before draining the pasta. Transfer the drained pasta directly to the pan with the sauce, tossing to coat. If the sauce seems too thick, you can add some cooking water to thin it out.
Plate your dish:
5 Plate your dish:
Divide the pasta between 2 plates. Sprinkle the remaining basil and grate or crumble the ricotta salata cheese over the top of each. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

Prepare your ingredients:
1 Prepare your ingredients:
Heat a large pot of salted water to boiling on high. Peel and slice the garlic and red onion. Tear the basil leaves into bite-sized pieces. Trim and large dice the eggplant.
2 Cook the eggplant, onion, & garlic:
In a large pan, heat a thin layer of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the eggplant; season with salt and pepper, and cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden on all sides, stirring occasionally. Add the onion and cook 1 to 2 minutes, or until slightly softened. Add the garlic and cook about 1 minute, stirring until fragrant and golden.
Cook the eggplant, onion, & garlic:
Make the sauce:
3 Make the sauce:
Add the red pepper flakes and diced tomatoes to the eggplant in the pan. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer the sauce 2 to 3 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Stir in half the basil and season with salt and pepper to taste.
4 Boil the pasta & add it to the sauce:
While the sauce simmers, add the pasta to the pot of boiling water and cook 4 to 5 minutes, or until al dente (cooked through with a little bite). Reserve a little cooking water before draining the pasta. Transfer the drained pasta directly to the pan with the sauce, tossing to coat. If the sauce seems too thick, you can add some cooking water to thin it out.
Boil the pasta & add it to the sauce:
Plate your dish:
5 Plate your dish:
Divide the pasta between 2 plates. Sprinkle the remaining basil and grate or crumble the ricotta salata cheese over the top of each. Enjoy!