Baked Pasta Dish
Mario Batali's Pasta alla Norma
- 6 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1/2 Red Onion (thinly sliced)
- 2 pounds small to medium Eggplant (cut 1/4-inch cubes)
- Salt and freshly cracked Black Pepper
- 1 pound Penne
- Basic Tomato Sauce
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino Cheese
- 10 fresh Basil Leaves (roughly torn)
- 8 ounces fresh Ricotta
- 8 ounces Ricotta Salata (for grating)
- Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot, and add 2 tablespoons salt. Cook penne 1 minute less than the package instructions and drain.
- Meanwhile, heat a large saute pan with a few tablespoons of olive oil. Add the onions and season with salt. Saute for a few minutes until tender. Stir in the eggplant and allow to cook for 3 minutes without moving. Stir the mixture and then add the cooked noodles and some basic tomato sauce just to coat the noodles. Add freshly torn basil leaves, grated pecorino and a few drizzles of olive oil and toss to combine.
- In a medium bowl whisk together the fresh ricotta with a few tablespoons of pasta water to loosen. Serve the pasta with large dollops of the fresh ricotta and freshly grated ricotta salata.