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pasta alla norma (eggplant pasta)


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Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total: 2 hours, 65 minutes

Servings: 4


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Step 1

Wash eggplants, cut off the ends, and cut into 1/3-inch slices. Layer eggplant slices in a large bowl, sprinkling coarse salt over each layer. Let sit for at least 2 hours to draw out any bitterness.

Step 2

In the meantime, prepare the tomato sauce. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat and cook garlic until browned, about 2 minutes. Remove garlic. Add peeled tomatoes and bring to a boil; cook until tomatoes start breaking down, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat and simmer until sauce thickens, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add 2/3 of the basil and simmer for another 3 minutes.

Step 3

Rinse eggplant slices under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels. Heat remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and fry the eggplant slices in batches until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels. Cut into small cubes.

Step 4

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook spaghetti in the boiling water, stirring occasionally, until tender yet firm to the bite, about 12 minutes. Drain.

Step 5

Mix eggplant pieces into the tomato sauce. Simmer for 10 minutes over low heat. Stir in ricotta and mix well. Season with salt, pepper, and remaining basil. Mix in drained spaghetti and cook until warm, about 3 minutes.