Cook This Pasta Alla Norma Before It's Too Late

I had to squeeze this one in here before it's too late. Pasta alla Norma is a classic Italian pasta dish consisting of (usually) eggplant cooked in copious amounts of olive oil and mixed into tomato sauce. I make it all the time, but recently stumbled upon this version, thrown together on a whim, that turns out to be my favorite.

You still do the traditional eggplant and olive oil thing, but instead of using canned tomatoes (or fresh tomatoes stewed in a pot) for the sauce, I roasted cherry tomatoes with garlic and thyme under low heat for a long time until they were almost (though not totally) dried. This super-concentrates their already-incredible flavor, and transforms the sauce into something very different from the original. It's drier than if you used a can of tomatoes, but you can loosen everything up with a splash of the pasta water if you like. The only other things that are in there are some ricotta salata (you can use fresh ricotta or Parmesan if you can't find it) and basil leaves.

Of course, you can make this dish any time of year, but eggplant and tomatoes are still in season in many places, so this may be the moment.

—Mark

MY NEW FAVORITE PASTA ALLA NORMA


Talk To Me, Goose!

Questions, comments, brilliant suggestions? Just want to share the recipe for your grandma's potato salad, or your mom's meatloaf, or your uncle Drew's three-day 100-percent rye loaf (yes, please)? Don't hesitate to reach out anytime.