Pasta alla Norma with eggplant and fresh ricotta

Gluten Free, Vegetarian, Soy Free

4 Servings, 740 Calories/Serving

30 – 40 Minutes

This gluten-free crowd-pleaser will convert even those who claim they don’t like eggplant.

Ingredients

  • 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

Chef's Tip

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.


Instructions

1

Cook the penne

Bring a medium sauce pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add the penne and cook until just tender, 7 to 9 minutes. Drain and set aside.
While the water heats and the penne cooks, prepare the eggplant and sauce.

2

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.

3

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.
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 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.

4

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.

5

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.

6

Serve

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

Kids can!
  • 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

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