Rigatoni alla Norma
Eggplant takes center stage in this family-friendly recipe from Quattro Gastronomia Italiana chef Nicola Carro.
- 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
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.
Place flour in a shallow dish and, working in batches, dredge eggplant in flour, shaking off excess.
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.
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.
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.
Stir pasta until well combined with sauce, about 2 minutes. Add basil and season with salt and pepper. Serve garnished with ricotta salata cheese.