A standard Sicilian dish, pasta alla Norma is a substantial skill to make utilize of up an extra of two summer season stars: eggplant and fresh basil. Cooked down till evenly browned on the exterior and creamy in the heart, the eggplant cubes are tossed into a straightforward tomato sauce with pasta, then accomplished with salty ricotta salata cheese and a showering of basil for herby freshness. Any pasta form works right here, nonetheless we like thicker tubular shapes like calamarata or rigatoni—their hollow centers provide big home for the sauce to veil.
The Norma in the dish’s title is the titular protagonist of an Italian opera by Vincenzo Bellini, which, like the pasta named for it, is valuable for its lyric beauty. But, if or now now not it’s a need to to alter these notes a chunk (we’re talking in regards to the pasta alla Norma recipe now), it’s gorgeous forgiving. Ricotta salata is the dried-out cousin of gruesome historical milky ricotta—nonetheless don’t sub in that more energizing cheese in case it’s doubtless you’ll’t catch it. As an different, ogle to other dry, laborious cheeses like Parmesan or Pecorino Romano. The three agree with vastly diversified flavors, nonetheless they’ll work factual as properly in this pasta dish.
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28-oz.can total peeled tomatoes
cup plus 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
lb. Jap or globe eggplant, decrease into ½” objects
tsp. Diamond Crystal or 1½ tsp. Morton kosher salt, divided, plus extra
garlic cloves, thinly sliced
tsp. crushed pink pepper flakes
Tbsp. double-concentrated tomato paste
Tbsp. coarsely chopped oregano
lb. tubular pasta (equivalent to calamarata or rigatoni)
oz. ricotta salata, shaved
Torn basil leaves (for serving)
Freshly ground sunless pepper
Dump one 28-oz. can total peeled tomatoes with juices into a medium bowl; crush tomatoes alongside with your fingers. Living aside.
Heat ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil in an ideal Dutch oven or other heavy pot over medium-excessive. Add 1 lb. Jap or globe eggplant, decrease into ½” objects, and sprinkle with 1 tsp. Diamond Crystal or ½ tsp. Morton kosher salt. Cook dinner, stirring as soon as quickly, till eggplant is softened and golden brown, 6–8 minutes. Switch to a bowl.
Heat last 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil in same pot over medium-excessive. Cook dinner 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced, and ½ tsp. crushed pink pepper flakes, stirring continuously, till fragrant, about 1 minute. Add 3 Tbsp. double-concentrated tomato previouse and cook dinner, stirring, till darkened in color, about 2 minutes. Add 2 Tbsp. coarsely chopped oregano, 1½ tsp. Diamond Crystal or 1 tsp. Morton kosher salt, and reserved tomatoes. Convey to a boil and cook dinner, stirring as soon as quickly, till sauce is a miniature bit thickened, about 5 minutes. Return eggplant to pot and cook dinner, stirring as soon as quickly, till eggplant is fully tender and flavors agree with melded, about 2 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook dinner 1 lb. tubular pasta (equivalent to calamarata or rigatoni) in an ideal pot of boiling salted water, stirring as soon as quickly, till al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking liquid.
Add pasta and ½ cup pasta cooking liquid to sauce. Cook dinner, stirring veritably and adding extra pasta cooking liquid if fundamental, till sauce is thickened and coats pasta, about 2 minutes.
Divide pasta among shallow bowls. High with 4 oz. ricotta salata, shaved, dividing evenly, and torn basil leaves. Season with freshly ground sunless pepper.