Fresh Ziti/ Maccheroni (one serving approx. 0.33 lbs)
Contrary to popular belief, “maccheroni” is not just another word for pasta - maccheroni, also known as 'ziti', always have a small tube shape. Similar to rigatoni but with a slightly smaller diameter and smooth sides, this versatile shape is perfect for chunky sauces and baked pasta dishes, everything from pasta al forno to gourmet mac & cheese.
Ingredients: organic durum semolina, soft '00' wheat flour & eggs.
Pasta alla Norma is a traditional Sicilian pasta preparation of sautéed eggplant in a tomato sauce served with sheeps-milk ricotta salata. The following is the version we make at home. We like to fry the eggplant crispy. Frying the eggplant like this keeps it intact and prevents it from melting in to the sauce. It also stays a little crispy, so it adds a nice hardy component to this classic vegetarian dish. Finally, ziti (maccherone) is our preferred pasta shape, but this dish works just as well with any tubular shape, such as rigatoni or bucatini. We hope you enjoy!
1-1/2 lb. eggplant
olive oil, enough to fry the eggplant
2 eggs, beaten with a spoonful of water
1 cup of flour, in a bowl
2 cups fine bread crumbs (or as needed), in a bowl
2 or 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
1 tsp. of red pepper chile flakes, or to taste
1 28oz can of whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes
1 lb. ziti
small handful of basil, torn in to pieces
1/2 cup pecorino romano, grated
sheeps-milk ricotta salata or fresh ricotta (you can find both for sale here on the site!)
1 Slice the eggplant in to 1/2 inch thick batons about 2-1/2” long. Dredge first in flour, shaking off excess flour, then coat with beaten egg and finally fine bread crumbs. Fry in abundant olive oil in a deep frying pan until nicely brown and crispy. Do not crowd the pan. You will probably need to do a few batches. Lift them out of the oil, putting them to drain on a brown paper bag. Season with salt and set aside until later. Meanwhile, put a large pot of water to boil and salt it.
2 Put 1/4 cup of the olive oil used for the eggplant in to a large saute pan. Save the rest for another use. Turn the heat to medium, add the garlic and red pepper chile flakes, and cook until the garlic starts to sizzle. Crush the tomatoes with your hand and add them to the pan, along with some salt; cook down until saucy, but not too dry, stirring occasionally. It will splatter and make a mess, but is so worth it, and cleans up easily.
3 Cook the pasta until tender but not mushy. While the pasta is cooking, add the eggplant strips to the tomato sauce and heat together to a simmer. Drain the pasta and add it, along with the basil and 1/2 of the grated pecorino, to the tomato sauce and eggplant. Toss all together, adding a little pasta water if necessary.Taste and adjust the seasoning, then top with spoonfuls of the fresh ricotta or ricotta salata and more grated cheese if desired.