|CLASSIC pasta||bucatini alla norma (eggplant)|
is a classic, somewhat historic presentation for pasta and eggplant.
for the sauce:
for the pasta:
Dice the eggplant into quarter-inch cubes. Toss with 2 tablespoons of salt and let sit for an hour. Put onto paper towels and pat the cubes dry.
In a saute pan, put one tablespoon of the oil and half the eggplant cubes. Sautee until just starting to brown. Set aside in another bowl, and then repeat with another tablespoon of oil and the remainder of the eggplant cubes.
Get five quarts of water up to a raging boil. Add two tablespoons of salt. Add the bucatini. Cook until al dente. Reserve two tablespoons of the pasta liquid. Then drain, keeping pasta slightly wet.
In a saute pan, heat the olive oil until hot. Add the garlic and the red pepper flakes. Sautee one minute. Add the tomato cubes and after two minutes, reduce the heat to a simmer and continue, while stirring, until the tomatoes start to break down, about ten minutes. Add a half teaspoon of salt and freshly ground pepper, and the basil. Stir. Add the browned eggplant to the pan, add two tablespoons of water to thin the sauce, if needed. Cover and simmer fore ten minutes. The eggplant should be soft but not mushy.
Add the pasta to the heated sauce. Add the reserved liquid and the pecorino. Mix and serve. Additional chopped parsley is a nice touch.