Cooking my way to happiness with Rachael Ray

Roasted Garlic Pasta alla Norma

My translation of tonight’s dinner will be called “Roasted Garlic Pasta all a normal” because this dinner makes a normal night seem like a special occasion and dinner with my family is a special occasion that should be the norm.  As the kids get older having 3 out of 3 home for dinner is becoming a challenge.

Shopping was easy…. nothing to google, in and out of the store in about 10 minutes.  I did google what “Pasta alla Norma” meant….a divine combination of eggplant, tomatoes, basil and ricotta, and it is one of the most elegant traditional Sicilian recipes. Now you know.  One compromise, I couldn’t find a wedge of ricotta salata.  I used just regular ricotta (the kind in the container).

I started tonight’s dinner by roasting the garlic right after I was done cleaning up breakfast dishes because you are supposed to roast it, then let it cool.  This was a step I could go ahead and get out-of-the-way since today was an early release day from school…..that seems to be the norm.  Simply cut the top of the whole bulb, exposing the cloves, drizzle with EVOO and add salt & pepper.  Wrap in foil and bake in the oven for about 45 minutes at @ 350.  This makes your house smell amazing….well if you like garlic that is.

When the kids all got home about 2:00 I roasted the eggplant.  Squeeze out the cloves of garlic into a bowl, smash it up with a fork and add more EVOO.  Cut the eggplant lengthwise into1/2 slices and slather on the garlic mush, add some salt & pepper.  Put a cooling rack on a baking sheet with the eggplant and roast 15-20 minutes, then let it cool.  When it has cooled, cut into bite-sized pieces.  While the eggplant roasts, cook the penne.  I used a whole wheat penne.

 In a large skillet add EVOO and a finely chopped onion, sauté until tender.  Add just a little wine to help deglaze the pan.  Then add tomatoes.  Season with salt & pepper then stir in the eggplant and basil.

Add the sauce to the penne and top with little spoonfuls of ricotta.  I added red pepper flakes to mine and a little more fresh basil.

This recipe lived up to its name… was divine!  It looked great, tasted even better, was easy to make and clean up.  Even thought there were some extra steps with the roasting of the garlic and eggplant….it was totally worth it.  Short cuts are not always the best route to take!

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  1. * Teresa says:

    Yum! This sounds so good I’m mentally running through my pantry to see if I have what it takes to make this tonight! It sounds wonderful and I’d love for my house to smell like roasted garlic. LOL!

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 1 month ago

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