Pasta alla Norma – a Sicilian dish with eggplant, tomato and ricotta cheese. Here we skipped ricotta and instead added extra time to cook a delicious tomato sauce so you should not miss the fat and saltiness from the cheese.
2 full-sized aubergines
2 cans whole tomatoes
1 can of cooked chickpeas
4 cloves garlic
1 red chilli
2 cups red wine
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon dried basil
50 g fresh rocket
a lot of olive oil
salt and black pepper
- Begin to rinse and cut the aubergines into small cubes. Place on a cutting board and sprinkle plenty of salt. Let it sit for about 20 minutes so that the bitter liquid is removed. Rinse the salt and liquid and dry with some paper.
- Preheat the oven to 200 Celcius/ 400 Fahrenheit and drizzle with plenty of olive oil over the eggplant on a parchment paper and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes so they become soft. Turn them around mid-term so they are grilled on both sides.
- While the eggplant is salted out and then baked, do the tomato sauce. Please feel free to start with the sauce one hour earlier so it has time to cook a really long time!
- Peel the onion and garlic and rinse and seed the chiles and chop them. Saute over medium heat in plenty of olive oil in a large pot.
- When the onion has softened, add the dried basil and tomato paste. Then add the whole tomatoes (which you crushed with your hands or hacked first), red wine, salt and pepper and then let cook on low heat for about 1 hour.
- When the eggplant is ready from the oven and the tomato sauce has been cooked for about 1 hour so you add chickpeas and taste the tomato sauce to adjust saltiness, sweetness and strength.
- Then add the baked eggplant as a layer on top of the tomato sauce to the pan and cook, uncovered, for about 15 minutes. At the same time start the pasta water and cook your pasta according to instructions on package.
Finish by moving the pasta into the pan, top with plenty of fresh rocket and serve immediately.