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Rigatoni alla Norma

Eggplant takes center stage in this family-friendly recipe from Quattro Gastronomia Italiana chef Nicola Carro.

  • servings: 6

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Ingredients

  • 2 medium eggplants, diced
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 cups canola oil, for frying
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cups Tomato Sauce Recipe
  • 1 pound rigatoni
  • 1/2 bunch basil leaves, thinly sliced
  • 8 ounces ricotta salata cheese, grated

Directions

  1. Step 1

    Place eggplants in a colander set in a sink or over a bowl. Season eggplant generously with salt and let stand for 15 minutes. Rinse eggplant under cold running water; pat dry with paper towels.

  2. Step 2

    Place flour in a shallow dish and, working in batches, dredge eggplant in flour, shaking off excess.

  3. Step 3

    In a large pot, heat canola oil until it reaches 300 degrees on a deep-fry thermometer. Working in batches, fry eggplant until lightly golden, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate using a slotted spoon; repeat process with remaining eggplant.

  4. Step 4

    In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add fried eggplant and cook, stirring, about 2 minutes. Add tomato sauce and increase heat to a simmer.

  5. Step 5

    Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Generously salt boiling water and return to a boil. Add pasta and cook, until almost al dente, about 2 minutes less than indicated on package instructions. Drain and add to skillet with eggplant mixture.

  6. Step 6

    Stir pasta until well combined with sauce, about 2 minutes. Add basil and season with salt and pepper. Serve garnished with ricotta salata cheese.

Source
The Martha Stewart Show, February 2010

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Reviews (3)

  • 7 Dec, 2010

    Not really an insane amount of oil for frying (which I strongly suggest over baking for this particular recipe). If you fry the eggplant at the correct temperature it will not absorb too much of the oil and they are wonderfully crisp. Drain them well after frying of course. I personally reserve about half of the eggplant to fry up just before service to scatter over the top of the finished dish to retain the crisp texture.I sub shaved parmegiano reggiano if I can't find ricotta salata.

  • 13 Aug, 2010

    an insane amount of oil! i would grill/broil the eggplant

  • 12 Aug, 2010

    looked really good/easy