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Recipe: Grilled Pasta alla Norma

Recipe: Grilled Pasta alla Norma

It's August and that means eggplant season! Here in Los Angeles we are particularly lucky, since we have some of the best farmers' markets in the country with an incredibly wide variety of eggplants. From skinny Japanese eggplants to traditional globes in their royal robes, to tie-dyed purple and white Rosa Bianca and Listada De Gandias, and many, many more. Each has slightly varying texture, but all are fun to try. 

This week's recipe features the eggplant in a grilled version of one of our favorite classic Italian recipes, Pasta alla Norma. Next week we're going to host our first Instagram recipe contest, so check back for the announcement and start thinking of eggplant pasta recipes!

Grilled Pasta alla Norma

2 small eggplants
1 small can diced tomatoes, or 2 cups fresh Roma or San Marzano tomatoes peeled and diced
1 small heirloom tomato or 1/2 large, chopped
1/4 cup chopped parsley 
Salt and pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced 
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 
1 tbsp dried oregano or 1 tsp fresh
1-2 Fresno chiles, seeded and sliced thinly
1 pound Semolina Artisanal Pasta Fusilli
Ricotta salata for garnish
Parsley for garnish

Heat a grill or grill pan.

Slice eggplant into 1-inch thick rounds and drizzle with olive oil on both sides. Sprinkle with salt. Grill eggplant for about 1-2 mins each side. Remove from heat and cut into cubes. Set aside. 

In a sauté pan on medium-high heat, add olive oil, canned tomatoes, garlic, oregano, chiles, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, continuously stirring to prevent sticking, about 10 minutes. Add eggplant and cook for another 3 minutes. Remove from heat and add chopped parsley and chopped heirloom tomato. 

While sauce is simmering, cook pasta in rapidly boiling, heavily salted water. Drain, reserving some cooking liquid, and add pasta into sauce with a tablespoon of pasta water. Cook over low until pasta is coated, adding more pasta water if necessary to thin sauce. Remove from heat and serve. Garnish with fresh parsley and crumbled ricotta salata. 

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