Rigatoni alla Norma (Rigatoni with Eggplant)
<i>Rigatoni alla Norma</i> (Rigatoni with Eggplant)
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  • 1 large eggplant
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt
  • 3/4 lb (375 g) rigatoni
  • 1/3 cup (75 ml) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • Olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 can 28 oz (796 ml) crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) chopped fresh basil
  • 1 1/2 cups (375 ml) crumbled pressed ricotta (see note)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Preparation
  • Peel and cut the eggplant into cubes. Cut a quarter of the peel into thin strips. Set aside.
  • In a colander over a bowl, combine the cubed eggplant and the salt. Place a bowl filled with water over the eggplant as a weight. Let drain for 20 minutes. Press with your hands to drain thoroughly and pat dry with paper towels.
  • In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain and oil lightly. Set 125 ml (½ cup) of the cooking water aside.
  • Meanwhile, in a bowl, flour the diced eggplant. Set aside. Line a baking sheet with paper towels.
  • In a large saucepan, heat 1-cm (½-inch) of oil. Fry the eggplant julienne for 1 to 2 minutes or until crisp. Drain on the baking sheet.
  • Fry the cubed eggplant, a third at a time, until golden brown. Drain on the baking sheet. Discard the oil. Keep 125 ml (½ cup) of the fried eggplant for garnish.
  • In the same pan, brown the onion in 30 ml (2 tablespoons) of oil. Season with salt and pepper. Add the tomatoes and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes. Add the fried eggplant, pasta, and basil. Heat through, stirring to coat the pasta. Add cooking water, if needed. Adjust the seasoning.
  • Pour into a large serving dish. Top with the cheese, reserved eggplant cubes and julienne eggplant.
  • Description
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