Rigatoni alla Norma (Eggplant Sauce)

Rigatoni alla Norma (Eggplant Sauce) is a traditional vegetarian pasta dish of roasted eggplant tossed with tomato sauce and topped with ricotta. Roasted eggplant brings a flavor-rich, full body essence to tomato sauce, perfected with the light, creaminess of ricotta. It’s so delicious that you’ll think you’re in Italy (sorry!).
5 from 2 votes
Total Time: 55 mins
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 35 mins
Servings4
Course Evening
Cuisine Italian

ingredients
 

ROASTED EGGPLANT
TOMATO SAUCE
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil (OO)
  • ¼ Yellow Onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • ¼ tbsp Jalapeno, minced
  • 28 oz Crushed San Marzano Tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp Tomato Paste
  • 2 leaves Fresh Basil, torn
  • ¼ cup Fresh Parsley, chopped
  • 1 tbsp Capers, drained
RIGATONI
  • 1 tbsp Salt
  • 1 lb Rigatoni (GF: gluten free rigatoni)
  • ½ cup Parmesan (V: dairy free parmesan)
  • 1 dollop Ricotta, per dish
(P.S. USE THIS AS A CHECK LIST!)

    Instructions
     

    • This eggplant is about to get roasted. Bring 4-5 qt. water to boil. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut eggplant into ½ in. chunks and toss with OO and S&P (mix quickly; eggplant absorbs oil in seconds). Spread eggplant on baking tray and roast for 35 min. until browned and tender, mixing once after ~20 min.
    • It’s chop time! Meanwhile, chop onion and parsley, mince garlic and jalapeño, tear basil (don’t chop; tearing preserves flavor), and drain capers. Heat 2 tbsp. OO over med-high heat in a pot. Add chopped onion and cook for 4-5 min. until browned. Add minced garlic and jalapeno, sauteing for 1 min. more (until fragrant).
    • It’s all about the sauce. Reduce heat to low (avoids splattering) and add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, basil, and half of chopped parsley. Season with S&P and mix. Bring sauce to a light boil over med-high heat and once there, cover with lid (leave a crack for steam!) and let simmer over med-low heat until eggplant is done.
    • Calling all hungry bellies to the dinner table! Add 1 tbsp. salt and rigatoni to boiling water, cook until al dente, and strain. Remove eggplant from oven and gently add to sauce, along with capers. Serve immediately over rigatoni and top with shaved parmesan, remaining parsley, and a spoonful of ricotta.

    Notes & Tips

    • Shh! Top secret: Eggplants are claustrophobic.  Give your eggplant some space on the baking tray to allow for proper roasting. If the eggplant is overcrowded, you will end up with (gasp!) mush.

    XO,

    over the spoon

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    Brittany
    Brittany
    1 year ago

    I need this in my life! Uhhhh

    Katerina Hillios
    Katerina Hillios
    1 year ago

    5 stars
    Holyyyyy 🤩🤩🤩 I know what I’m making next date night in!

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