Pasta alla Norma with eggplant and fresh ricotta

Gluten Free, Vegetarian, Soy Free

4 Servings, 650 Calories/Serving

30 - 40 Minutes

This eggplant pasta comes together in about 30 minutes. The fresh ricotta acts like cream in the sauce, lending a silky richness, but will curdle if cooked over too high heat. That’s why we add it at the end. If you or your kids don’t like it spicy, go easy on the red pepper flakes or leave them out.


  • ½ pound Edison Grainery 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 butter lettuce
  • ¼ cup walnuts
  • Sun Basket house dressing (olive oil - balsamic vinegar - Dijon mustard - fresh garlic - salt)
  • Fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • ½ cup fresh ricotta
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan



Cook the penne

Bring a medium sauce pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add the penne and cook until tender, 7 to 9 minutes. Drain and set aside.
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.
In a large sauce pot over medium heat, warm 2 to 3 tablespoons oil until hot but not smoking. 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 2 teaspoons.
In the same pot used for the eggplant, warm 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Add the olives, shallots, oregano, garlic, and as many red chile flakes as you like and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. 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.
In a large bowl, combine the lettuce, walnuts, and as much house dressing as you like and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


Finish the pasta

  • Strip the parsley leaves from the stems; coarsely tear the leaves.
Add the penne to the pot with the sauce and toss to coat. Garnish with the parsley, dollop with the ricotta, and sprinkle with the Parmesan.



Transfer the pasta to individual bowls. Serve with the salad and remaining house dressing.

Nutrition per serving: Calories: 650, Protein: 17 g, Total Fat: 35 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 21 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 6 g, Saturated Fat: 7 g, Cholesterol: 20 mg, Carbohydrates: 63 g, Fiber: 7 g, Added Sugar: 0 g, Sodium: 600 mg
Contains: tree nuts, milk

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