At its base, this is just a simple spaghetti and tomato sauce recipe—a satisfying classic for sure, but not exactly the most exciting dinner of the week. But if you add a handful of crispy slices of pan-fried eggplants on top, along with a shower of parmesan cheese, and you have a meal with a variety of textures and some real heft.
'pasta alla norma' on Serious Eats
The first time I had Pasta Alla Norma—the Sicilian dish of pasta tossed with tomato sauce, sautéed eggplant, and ricotta salata—it was at a red sauce Italian joint in New York. I must admit I came away questioning whether the Sicilians really knew as much about fine food and good living as the movies give them credit for. It wasn't until a couple months ago that I really got it, and it took a trip all the way to the source to figure it out. Since then, I've been trying to figure out how to recreate it at home, using readily-available ingredients.