Pasta alla Norma
Three Farm Daughters
Looking for a pasta dish that's both rustic and refined, with a hint of Southern Italian flair? End your search with our traditional Penne alla Norma, a celebration of simple ingredients transformed into a lavish dish more delicious than the sum of its parts! With some Three Farm Daughters Penne, succulent roasted eggplant, and a tangy tomato marinara, you’re in for a taste that’ll transport you straight to the Mediterranean coast.
When it comes to adding oomph to pasta dishes, have you ever tasted anything as divine as roasted eggplant? The way the oven transforms this humble, purple vegetable into a creamy, caramelized delight is simply magical. Roasting the eggplant cubes creates a flavorful contrast, with a satisfyingly chewy exterior that gives way to tender, creamy flesh within. It's like a rich, velvety custard, with hints of savory umami flavor adding depth and smoky complexity to the dish. One taste and you’ll see, roasted eggplant is so hearty and addicting you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it!
With this richly flavored base to the dish, all that’s left is whipping up a quick, vibrant tomato sauce infused with garlic, red pepper flakes, and a touch of ricotta salata cheese for a tangy and creamy finish that perfectly complements the tender pasta and smoky roasted eggplant.
From just a handful of ingredients and some easy prep work, this classic recipe is both accessible and impressive, making it perfect for weeknight dinners or special occasions alike.
If you're ready to savor a taste of the Mediterranean and impress your guests with a dish that's both comforting and sophisticated, give our Pasta alla Norma with Three Farm Daughters Penne a try today. Seriously, this must be tasted to be believed…
- 2 boxes Three Farm Daughters Penne pasta
- 3 large Eggplants, diced into 1-inch cubes
- 3 Garlic cloves, crushed
- ½ cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, divided
- 28 oz can Fire-Roasted San Marzano Tomatoes
- ½ tsp each of Sea Salt & freshly-ground Black Pepper
- Pinch Red Pepper Flakes, to taste
- ½ cup Ricotta Salata cheese, grated (or sub Pecorino Romano)
- ½ cup fresh Basil leaves, torn, for garnish
Preheat your oven to 400°F and bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil for the pasta.
Grease 2 large baking sheets with a spritz of olive oil spray & spread out your diced eggplant cubes without overcrowding the pans - this helps a deliciously caramelized crust form, and ensures even cooking. Drizzle ¼ cup olive oil over the eggplant cubes. Season generously with sea salt and a few twists of black pepper, and give everything a good scrunch with your hands to coat evenly. Roast for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown.
Meanwhile, make the tomato sauce. In a large saucepan, heat the remaining ¼ cup of olive oil over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add the canned tomatoes and their juices to the saucepan, breaking them up with a spoon. Bring to a simmer and cook until the sauce has thickened slightly, about 10-15 minutes.
- While the eggplant finishes roasting and the sauce is simmering, cook the Three Farm Daughters Penne according to the package instructions until al dente, around 11 minutes. Drain the pasta and reserve ½ cup of the pasta cooking water to use in the sauce.
Once the eggplant is golden and tender, remove trays from the oven and tip the roasted eggplant into the tomato sauce. Stir gently to combine, being careful to retain the gorgeous texture of the eggplant cubes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Finally, add the cooked Three Farm Daughters Penne to the saucepan with the eggplant-tomato sauce. Toss gently to coat the pasta in the sauce, adding spoonfuls of the reserved pasta cooking water as needed to create a glossy sauce that coats each piece of penne with flavor.
To serve, divide the Pasta alla Norma among serving bowls. Top each bowl with grated ricotta salata cheese (or Pecorino Romano if you can’t get your hands on any!) and torn basil leaves.
Serve immediately, to rapturous applause.