Pasta with fried eggplant sauce -- pasta alla norma

Yield: 1 Servings

Measure Ingredient
1½ pounds Eggplant
Coarse salt
1 pounds Spaghetti
1 tablespoon Favorite homemade tomato sauce or unseasoned canned (up to 2)
¼ cup Olive oil
2 Garlic cloves; peeled and crushed but left whole
2 Anchovy fillets; roughly chopped
1½ cup Favorite homemade tomato sauce or unseasoned canned [a]
2 tablespoons Capers [a]
1 tablespoon Finely chopped fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried [a]
½ teaspoon Hot red pepper flakes [a]
Parmesan; Romano or Pecorino cheese

"This is extremely popular in Sicily and is named after the opera composed by a native son, Vincenzo Bellini. It's also referred to as 'alla Bellini' or simply 'con Melanzane', with eggplant. There are other versions in which fried eggplant slices are used to line a casserole before the dish is baked, but this is more typical.

"There is no wine in the world that can stand up to this properly, but the Silician white or red Corvo does as good a job as possible. This is a wonderful meatless main course and needs no accompaniment. Begin the meal with the traditional prosciutto and melon and end it with something rich like zabaglione."

Peel eggplant. Cut in 2x1/2x1/2" strips. Place 1 layer in a colander and sprinkle with salt. Repeat layers till all eggplant used. Put a plate on top then weight with 2 heavy cans. Let stand 30 minutes, then rinse off eggplant and squeeze dry in cloth towel.

Cook the spaghetti till al dente in large pot of water; drain. Toss with 1-2 tablespoons tomato sauce (to keep from sticking together); set aside.

While the spaghetti is cooking, heat 2 tablespoons oil in large skillet over medium heat. Fry 1 garlic clove stirring often till light brown.

Remove garlic with slotted spoon and discard. Turn heat to high. When oil very hot, stir in half the eggplant. Cook, turning several times, till all sides lightly browned. Remove eggplant with slotted spoon; drain on paper towels. Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil to pan; when very hot, cook garlic as above and discard, then eggplant as above and remove to paper towels.

Turn heat under pan to low. Add anchovies and stir till melted. Return eggplant to pan, then add [a]. Bring to boil then immediately remove from heat. Stir in drained spaghetti (this reheats it). Serve with cheese on the side. Serves 4 people. Posted to TNT - Prodigy's Recipe Exchange Newsletter by hvane@... on Aug 13, 1997

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