Pasta alla Norma with eggplant and fresh ricotta
Gluten Free, Vegetarian, Soy-Free
30 – 40 Minutes
This gluten-free crowd-pleaser will convert even those who claim they don’t like eggplant.
- 10 ounces gluten-free quinoa penne
- 1 eggplant
- ¼ cup Kalamata olives
- 1 or 2 shallots
- Fresh oregano
- Peeled fresh garlic
- ½ teaspoon red chile flakes (optional)
- 1¾ cups diced tomatoes
- 1 head living butter lettuce
- ¼ cup walnuts
- Sun Basket house dressing (olive oil - balsamic vinegar - Dijon mustard - fresh garlic)
- Fresh flat-leaf parsley
- ½ cup fresh ricotta
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan
Who was Norma?
This dish supposedly got its name when 19th-century Sicilian poet, Nino Martoglio, proclaimed the recipe to be a masterpiece as good as the opera Norma, by fellow Sicilian Vincenzo Bellini.
Cook the penne
While the water heats and the penne cooks, prepare the eggplant and sauce.
Prep and cook the eggplant
- Trim the ends from the eggplant; cut the eggplant lengthwise into ½-inch-thick slices and then crosswise into ½-inch pieces.
Add the eggplant, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Do not clean the pot.
While the eggplant cooks, prepare the sauce ingredients.
Prep the sauce ingredients; make the sauce
- Coarsely chop the olives.
- Peel and finely chop enough shallots to measure ¼ cup.
- Strip the oregano leaves from the stems; coarsely tear the leaves.
- Finely chop, press, or grate enough garlic to measure 1½ teaspoons.
Stir in the tomatoes, season with salt, and simmer until the sauce is slightly thickened, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the eggplant and cook until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes.
While the sauce simmers, prepare the salad.
Make the salad
- Trim the root end from the butter lettuce.
- Coarsely tear the lettuce leaves.
- Coarsely chop the walnuts.
Finish the pasta
- Strip the parsley leaves from the stems; coarsely tear the leaves.
- Strip and tear the oregano and parsley.
- Press the garlic (if you have a press).
- Tear the lettuce leaves.
- Toss the salad with the dressing.
- Garnish and serve the pasta.
Nutrition per serving: Protein: 18g (36% DV), Fiber: 10g (40% DV), Total Fat: 39g (60% DV), Monounsaturated Fat: 34g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 6g (30% DV), Cholesterol: 15mg (5% DV), Sodium: 500mg (21% DV), Carbohydrates: 77g (26% DV), Total Sugars: 10g, Added Sugars: 0g (0% DV). Not a significant source of trans fat. Contains: tree nuts, milk