- Gluten-free (optional)
Pasta alla Norma is one of the most famous and traditional pasta dish from Sicily! I love Sicilian food and I love Sicily! The traditional recipe is very simple as it consists of 4 main ingredients: Pasta, fresh tomatoes, eggplants and ricotta salata - it's DELICIOUS!
During one of my holidays in Sicily, I went to my friend Ottavio's home and his mum cooked for us the best Pasta alla Norma I have ever eaten. I can still remember the sweet and juicy tomato sauce and the perfectly fried eggplants. Difficult to describe with words :)! Ottavio taught me how to prepare it and during these times at home in San Francisco I wanted to bring back and live those flavors and memories!
In my recipe I had to replace the original ricotta salata with some vegan cheese (I picked a cashew cheese) as I cannot have dairy.
- Rigatoni (90g per person)
- 1 Eggplant (1 lbs / 450g)
- 12 Cherry Tomatoes (for 2 people)
- Vegan Cheese
- Fresh Basil
- A Clove of Garlic
- Extra-virgin Olive Oil
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper (option)
- Sea Salt
- Dice the eggplant (cut cubes the size of a thumb) and sprinkle salt on top of each cube in order to remove the excess water. Let it rest for 10 minutes.
- Heat 4 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil in a pan and fry the eggplant until they become golden brown (usually cook for 10 minutes).
- Once cooked, let the eggplant cubes rest on a paper towel to remove the excess oil.
- In a wok, simmer a clove of garlic with extra-virgin olive oil until it becomes golden.
- Cut the cherry tomatoes into 2 pieces and add them to the wok.
- Once the cherry tomatoes are fully cooked, add basil and turn low heat.
- Boil water in a pot and once the water is boiling add the pasta. The pasta needs to cook for 2 mins less than the time recommended on the box.
- While the pasta is boiling add 2/3 tablespoons of the pasta water into the wok. This water will add a creamy texture to the pasta sauce.
- Add half of the eggplant cubes to the wok with the cherry tomato sauce.
- Drain the pasta and add it to the wok. Continue to stir until sauce is fully mixed with the pasta. Add some freshly ground black pepper.
- Plate the pasta and season it with some eggplant cubes, freshly chopped basil and the grated vegan cheese.