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Penne alla Norma

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This classic Sicilian pasta dish combines eggplant, tomatoes, and basil. Put a dollop of ricotta cheese on each plate to stir in for a creamy consistency.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 6

Source: Everyday Food, September 2003

Ingredients

  • 1 pound penne rigate
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 large eggplant, cut into 3/4-inch chunks
  • 1 1/2 pounds plum tomatoes, cored and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup torn fresh basil, plus more for garnish
  • 3/4 cup ricotta cheese

Directions

  1. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente, according to package instructions. Drain pasta; return to pot.

  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and crushed red pepper; cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes.

  3. Add eggplant to skillet; season generously with salt and pepper. Cover, and cook until eggplant begins to release juices, about 5 minutes. Uncover; cook, stirring, until tender, 3 to 4 minutes (if bottom of pan browns too much, add a few tablespoons water, and scrape with spoon).

  4. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, and 1/4 cup water to skillet; cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes.

  5. Toss sauce and basil with pasta; gently reheat if necessary. Top each serving with a spoonful of ricotta, and garnish with more basil.

Cook's Notes

Crushed red pepper adds spice to this dish. Vary the amount according to taste.

Reviews Add a comment

  • parkrngr17
    8 SEP, 2013
    I really enjoyed this. I peeled the eggplant, as other reviews suggested. I doubled the tomato paste and water to make this a little more "saucy." Otherwise, I stuck to the recipe. The ricotta cheese added some good flavor, without it I would think this would be a bit bland. Yummy!
    Reply
  • rae620
    14 OCT, 2010
    I wanted a less moist ricotta on top, so I substituted Ricotta Salatta (pressed, salted
    Reply
  • LoveBakingCookies
    13 OCT, 2010
    Delicious! My husband doesn't like eggplant so I used portabella mushrooms instead. Easy, simple, definitely a keeper. Thanks.
    Reply
  • MS12168011
    12 OCT, 2010
    And, don't even try to figure out how my comment is posted THREE times .. I'm not sure myself! First it wasn't there at all; then appeared in triplicate.
    Reply
  • MS12168011
    12 OCT, 2010
    Quite tasty! But, I think it would have been better if the eggplant had been peeled. Other than that small change, it is a recipe worth making again!
    Reply
  • MS12168011
    12 OCT, 2010
    Quite tasty! But, I feel it would have been better if the eggplant had been peeled. Other than that, I think the recipe is certainly worth making again!
    Reply
  • MS12168011
    12 OCT, 2010
    Quite tasty! But, I feel it would have been better if the eggplant had been peeled. Other than that, I think the recipe is certainly worth making again!
    Reply
  • MBS4174
    9 AUG, 2010
    made this tonight. so good. even filled up my picky boyfriend who swears he doesn't like vegetarian food.
    Reply
  • Cookingcutie11
    12 APR, 2010
    I made this tonight and it was delicious. However, I halved the entire recipe and doubled the amount of red pepper flakes since I like spicy food. I also added 8 oz. of ground beef when I cooked the onions and garlic, and it was fantastic and hearty. I also peeled my eggplant because I hate tough eggplant skin. I'll make this regularly.
    Reply
  • caroldirner
    10 AUG, 2008
    I also added medallions of mozzerella. This was a simple yet delicious pasta (even enjoyed by those who thought they didn't like eggplant).
    Reply