Saturday, February 5, 2011

pasta alla norma


1 large eggplant, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
salt and pepper
2 tbsp. olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 anchovy fillets, rinsed and minced
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes, San Marzano are the best!
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
12 oz. whole wheat penne
1/2 cup Pecorino Romano, grated


1. Line a large microwave-safe plate with a double layer of paper towels and lightly spray with vegetable oil spray. Toss the eggplant with 1/2 tsp. of salt and spread evenly over the plate. Microwave the eggplant on high until dry to the touch and slightly shriveled, about 10 minutes, tossing halfway through the cooking time. Set aside to cool slightly.
2. Gently toss the cooled eggplant with 1/2 tsp. olive oil in a bowl. Heat 1/2 tsp. more olive oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the eggplant and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer to bowl and set aside.
3. Add the remaining tbsp. oil, garlic, anchovies, and red pepper flakes to the skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the garlic is fragrant and lightly browned, about 1 minute. Stir in the tomatoes, bring to a simmer, and cook until slightly thickened, 8-10 minutes.
4. Stir in the eggplant and simmer until it is heated through, 3-5 minutes. Off the heat, stir in the basil and season with pepper to taste.
5. Meanwhile, bring water to a boil in a large pot. Add the pasta and cook, stirring often, until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water, then drain the pasta and return it to the pot.
6. Add pasta to the eggplant-tomato mixture and toss to combine. Before serving, add the reserved cooking water as needed to loosen the sauce and sprinkle with cheese.

*from America's Test Kitchen Healthy Cookbook

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