Pasta alla Norma
with Blistered Tomatoes and Fresh Basil
Pasta alla Norma is a traditional Sicilian dish packed with vegetables. Rounds of eggplant are cooked down until softened and are paired with plenty of blistered tomatoes. When you amp up the veggies, the pasta amount can come down, so we’ve included a whole box of Banza chickpea pasta but feel that half a box is an ample amount. Add olive oil to the skillet as necessary while cooking the eggplant, it will help it brown nicely and add to the texture of the sauce.
- 1 box Banza penne
- 2 Italian eggplant
- 6 garlic cloves
- 12 oz cherry tomatoes
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp red chile flakes
- Fresh basil
- 2 tbsp vegan parmesan
- ¾ cup olive oil*
- Salt and pepper*
- *Not included
- **Allergens: Soy
- Large nonstick skillet
- Large pot
Rinse and dry all produce. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the Banza penne, stir, and cook until al dente, about 6 to 8 minutes. Reserve 2 cups of the cooking water and drain the pasta in a colander.
Trim the eggplant and slice into thin rounds. Mince the garlic.
Place a large skillet over medium-high heat and add 6 tbsp olive oil. Once hot, add half of the eggplant to the skillet in one layer and sprinkle with salt. Cook eggplant until softened and browned, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer eggplant to a plate. Repeat with 3 tbsp olive oil and remaining eggplant.
Add the cherry tomatoes to the hot skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to break down and are charred in places, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic, dried oregano, and as much or as little red chile flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Take your spoon and carefully crush the tomatoes to create a “sauce”.
Return the cooked eggplant to the skillet. Add the cooked pasta and the reserved cooking water to the skillet. Bring pasta to a simmer and cook until thickened slightly, about 3 to 4 minutes. Season pasta with salt and pepper.
Chop the basil leaves. Add ¾ of the basil to the pasta and toss to combine. Divide the pasta alla Norma between large shallow bowls. Top with the remaining chopped basil and sprinkle with vegan parmesan. Manja!