Pasta alla Norma di Zucchine

I’m sure I’ve mentioned that my husband is allergic to eggplant, a real shame for a man from Naples, or anywhere in Southern Italy. I had a dinner party a few weeks ago with some of my girlfriends and jumped on the opportunity to make a pasta alla norma, something I wouldn’t normally be able to make with my husband at the table. With a lot of the tomato sauce left over and grated ricotta salata, I thought that I would try to make a pasta alla norma with zucchini. Cooking it in the same way that I would the eggplant.

Though zucchini packs a lot less flavor than eggplant, the results were delicious. This is such a delicious pasta and the fact the the tomato sauce and the zucchini or eggplant are only mixed together when serving creates great layers of flavor, instead of letting the zucchini blend with the tomato.

Pasta alla Norma di Zucchine

  • 1/2 pound of short pasta like casareccie, gemelli or penne rigate
  • 1 28 oz can of tomato sauce or purée
  • 1 pound of zucchini, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 cup of grated ricotta salata
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 5 or 6 basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • oil for frying the zucchini
  • salt and pepper to taste

Add olive oil, sliced onion and tomato sauce to a small pot, bring to a simmer over low heat and allow to cook, stirring occasionally, until it has reduced to about 1/3 of its volume. Set aside when it has finished cooking.

When ready to fry, heat the oil in a 10-inch skillet, over medium heat, until the oil is hot enough to make a piece of the zucchini sizzle rapidly as soon as it hits it. While the oil is heating, thoroughly pat the zucchini dry. Fry the zucchini in batches, until golden. With a slotted spoon or skimmer, transfer the fried zucchini to paper towels to drain.

Fill a large pot with water for the pasta. Bring to a boil over high heat. Once the water starts to boil for the pasta add a small handful of salt to the water and bring to a rolling boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. When the pasta is perfectly al dente drain the pasta. Spoon some of the sauce into a bowl and add the pasta, the eggplant and about half of the ricotta salata, toss it all together adding more tomato sauce as you stir.

Serve immediately with a few basil leaves and the rest of the grated ricotta salata.

Two Years Ago: Parmigiana di Zucchine (I love the synchronicity of posting the same concept of a dish on the same day two years later, zucchini taking over for allergic eggplant!)

~ by italicious on September 17, 2011.

2 Responses to “Pasta alla Norma di Zucchine”

  1. I know! I love parmigiana di zucchine and saw your post, the funny thing is that I realized when I posted this one that I had posted parmigiana di zucchine 2 years earlier on the same day!!

  2. I like this idea! I love eggplant, but I like zucchini, too, and allergic or not, this makes for a nice change of pace. (Funnily enough, I just posted a recipe for parmigiana made with zucchini… )

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