Home / Recipes / How To Make Pasta Alla Norma

How To Make Pasta Alla Norma

hi guys today i want to share with you a really easy simple classic italian recipe for pasta a la norma pasa norma is a very simple recipe uh it’s so good it just requires a little bit of patience and is made it’s really it’s basically a tomato sauce with eggplant and then at the end you’re gonna finish it with mozzarella and lots of parm so i’ve got my skillet here with a little bit of olive oil not extra virgin at the bottom of the skillet and we’re going to work in batches we’re going to do each eggplant at a time so you want to cube your eggplant you can see this is it’s a little seedier than i would like so.

I’m probably going to cut out and i you can also see that i um cut the peel off and leave a little bit behind because i like the texture but i also don’t love if it’s too bitter so you’re going to cut this in cubes and i’m going to take out probably a small section but yay big because that is all seeds that is bitter and i don’t even want that so i’m going to do that and i’m going to fry one eggplant at a time because they’re quite small if they were any bigger then i would say you will need to do this in many many batches but because these are quite small it’s you know it’s fine if you’re working with small eggplant i always think one per person you should allow one per person but because like i said these are a medium size i think these two will be great for sauce to make enough sauce for four people is what i meant to say add that in one of the things that makes eggplant so delicious is a lot of oil eggplant loves oil.

It’s not shy but you also want to make sure that you have it at the right temperature so that you’re cooking the eggplant all the way through and you don’t have really greasy eggplant because if if the oil is too cold that’s a problem you can’t actually see that the eggplant absorbed the oil so at this point it looks like your pan’s really dry and do try to use a nonstick skillet if you can help it don’t add any more oil to this batch because now the oil that the eggplant has absorbed is going to help cook the eggplant if that makes any sense so what i’m going to do is i’m going to let my eggplant cook over about medium heat in the meantime i’m going to prep this eggplant and then i’m going to do the same thing i just kind of run around like so to peel it i’ll dice it.

I will remove any excess seeds this is definitely going to be a seedy one so we’re probably going to end up using half of the eggplant if i’m honest let’s see i could feel oh yeah that is really too seedy so i’ll take out most of it i’ll dice them up i will cook all the eggplant i have a paper towel lined plate here that i will put the eggplant on once it’s ready and then i’ll show you the next step all right this is looking great you can actually see that it’s the eggplant and starting to sort of like um it’s like giving out the the oil back into the pan once it’s done doing its job you’re going to take that out i’m going to put it on a paper towel lined plate i’m going to salt it because this is the only time the only chance you get to salt the eggplant itself see look at that all the oil came right back in really really important take your time when you’re cooking some things can be rushed but something needs respect as my nonna would say all right .

I m gonna add just a touch more oil for the next batch not much because there’s probably a tablespoon in there already so let’s say one more tablespoon you get to salt the eggplant itself i’m gonna add the rest of it right in and now i’m just gonna cook that the same way i cooked the first batch while that’s happening let’s talk tomatoes when i made this in tuscany i was lucky enough to make this with the most gorgeous tuscan fresh tomatoes i’ve ever seen in my entire life they were ripe it was in the middle of summer actually no it was in the end of april and they were ripe and delicious and it was warm and we went to a fresh market and it was magnificent i’m going to be using canned tomatoes for this because i don’t have any tomatoes that are good enough.

So these are italian whole plum tomatoes they are peeled if the peels in there just take it out i prefer whole plum tomatoes and then just squishing them myself so that i get lovely bigger pieces smaller pieces you can blitz this in a food processor to get the job done quicker or you can use crushed tomatoes if you want to i don’t think either of those give you the same results so take your time mash your tomatoes if any piece any stem any sections on the stem is like really green and hard discard it and then what i’ll do is i’ll chop up a little bit of onion i will peel a couple cloves of garlic and then we move forward second batch she’s back say i’m back say hi guys put a little salt in the eggplant go ahead say oh that’s good enough a little salty on that spot say amore amore di mama here come my hip okay let’s put some oil good a little oil in the pan very good.

okay we’ve got a little bit of chopped onion you’re gonna stir it and a couple cloves of garlic that i’ve chopped uh smashed but then finally chop that way it gives you a much more mild flavor and a little more oil a little bit dry hey what would nana say a right what would she say oh she’d say oh what you doing is this it’s tomato sauce tomato sauce yeah what happened to your arm do you have a little chocolate on your shirt yeah um you ate my chocolate ice okay i’ll share i’m just gonna let these cook for a few minutes just to soften them they don’t have to caramelize ew add your tomatoes say tomato tomato potato potato basil basil can you put a little bit of salt and that one too come on grab that little one go ahead add it in okay a little bit of salt.

okay just a tiny tad that’s enough that’s plenty good beautiful mommy will add a little pinch don’t forget the eggplant salted so you don’t want to go overboard i’m going to give this a stir and then i’m just going to go ahead and cook this for about 15-20 minutes it doesn’t need to cook that long let’s say 15 minutes and then when it’s about 10 minutes away from being ready i’m going to go ahead and add my pasta to the boiling water and we’re in business grab my moths grab my palm oh good sauce looks perfect my pasta has like five more minutes of cooking i’ve been snacking on the moths it is what it is the last five minutes you want to add your eggplant to your sauce because you want it to finish cooking and warm through but you don’t want to do it any earlier than that otherwise.

It’s really just going to fall apart so just give it a really good stir i tasted the sauce for seasoning it is perfect it does not need anything else we’re just going to let this sit and do its thing i’ve got my mozzarella this is i’m going to call it dry but what i mean by that is it’s not swimming in water either will do it doesn’t have to it doesn’t have to be this specific kind but this works really well it melts really well a little more basil if you want it lots of fresh parm before you drain your pasta make sure you reserve quarter to a half a cup of the starchy cooking water because it kind of helps loosen everything up and the starchiness allows really helps the sauce to adhere to the pasta.

So this is just going to gently simmer it’s delicious and i honestly have to tell you this wow on a piece of charred bread with a ball of fresh mozzarella teared on top is my idea of heaven on earth in terms of food and that would be delicious that would be delicious over polenta that would be delicious over anything on its own what have you uh it’s very very good so we’re gonna let that do its thing join the pasta i’ll meet you back here we mix it all together we serve we eat we’re happy done okay drained my pasta i swapped my pans because i want a little bit of heat.

I m gonna add my sauce i’m gonna add some of that reserved cooking water make sure when you cook your pasta i’m using panda you can use any pasta you want make sure when you’re cooking pasta you cook it in really well salted water it’s the only chance you get to cook the pasta itself that is gorgeous already stir in your sauce a little at a time like that just want to make sure it’s getting well mixed oh and that the smell of that is just like pure heaven to me cannot wait to dig in you have absolutely no idea i have been eating in the sauce with a spoon this entire time not gonna lie to you since i added the eggplant in that is fantastic you can see it’s not like a saucy like a soupy sauce it just sort of sticks to the pasta and the parm becomes like edible glue for everything else.

It makes everything kind of hold together stick together and be fantastic the mozzarella is a little mild but it’s got good melty it’s got a good melting quality to it that i like i’m going to turn it off turn that right off add your moth i’m just going to add a yay much then i can always add more on top and then you just let the heat start to soften it see it’s starting to melt lovely that is like the pasta of my dreams right there add that to your serving dish oh it is gorgeous it is gorgeous i love it you don’t need any more of that you need more parm you need a few bits of basil.

If you want to you could do a drizzle an extra drizzle of oil on top um i don’t think it’s necessary because the eggplant were cooked in quite a bit of oil so i don’t want this to come off too greasy but that is the dinner of my dreams that i cannot wait to dig into a little hot pepper flakes would be great here a little heat the mozzarella is soft and melty mia’s going to love this she loves pasta thinks after her mother perfect hot so good not difficult if you wanted to you could add mushrooms you could do whatever you want but that is the classic norma that i know and love and i think you will too thriller in the kitchen.

About moklis