Sunday, July 5, 2015
Pasta alla Norma
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 eggplants (about 2 pounds), peeled and cut into 3/4 inch cubes
4 cloves garlic
1/4 teaspoon reds pepper flakes
2 (14.5 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
1 pound rigatoni
1/4 cup minced fresh basil or parsley
1 ounce Pecorino Romano cheese, grated (1/2 cup)
Bring 4 quarts water to a boil in a large pot for the rigatoni.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a 12 inch nonstick skillet over high heat almost to smoking. Add the eggplant and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook until lightly browned and softened, about 10 minutes.
Stir in the garlic, red pepper, and tomatoes. Bring to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
When the water is boiling, stir in 1 tablespoon salt and the rigatoni. Cook, stirring often until rigatoni is tender but firm.
Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water, then drain the rigatoni, and return it to the pot. Stir in the eggplant sauce, basil, and Pecorino Romano and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add small amounts of the reserved pasta cooking water only if needed to losses the sauce before serving.