Pasta alla Norma Spaghetti Recipe with fried Eggplants, Ricotta, and Basil

Pasta alla Norma Spaghetti Recipe with fried Eggplants, Ricotta, and Basil One of Sicily's most famous pasta creations, Pasta alla Norma marries tradition with exquisite flavors from the Mediterranean island. Spaghetti makes a great base for this delicious vegetarian pasta recipe of sautéed fried eggplants tossed with tomato sauce and topped with ricotta salata cheese and fresh basil.

Recipe and Photo Credit: Barilla Executive Chef Lorenzo Boni

1 box Barilla Blue Box Spaghetti
4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion
2 garlic cloves
1 medium eggplants
All-purpose flour for dredging
1 quart olive oil for frying
1 can Italian “San Marzano”tomatoes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 cup ricotta salata cheese, grated
6 leaves fresh basil, torn

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
2. Peel half of the eggplant and cut the entire eggplant into small diced pieces. Season the eggplant with salt and place in a strainer with a weight on top to drain the excess water for approximately 2 hours.
3. Dust the eggplant with a little flour and deep fry in olive oil, drain and set aside.
4. Cut the onions into thin julienne pieces and place in a large skillet with the olive oil, sauté three minutes, stir in chopped garlic and cook another minute.
5. Add the tomatoes. Season mixture with salt and black pepper and simmer for 5 minutes.
6. Add fried eggplants and simmer for 2 minutes
7. Meanwhile, cook spaghetti according to the package directions. Drain pasta reserving a small amount of the pasta cooking water.
8. Toss pasta with the sauce in the skillet and if needed, add some of the cooking water to the sauce.
9. Garnish with the grated ricotta cheese and torn basil leaves sprinkled over the top
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