10/12/2010 10:08 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Recession Recipe: Pasta alla Norma

In today's show, we make Pasta alla Norma, the recipe for which we found in The Geometry of Pasta, a book from our friends at Quirk Publishing, another of the many companies we've had the opportunity to work with lately. While we love meeting new people and tasting new dishes, the best part of our recent collaborations is the great shwag we get for readers, as is the case today!!

More details? Watch the episode to the verrrry end to see how you can win a very excellent prize!

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Pasta Alla Norma


-1 large eggplant, sliced

-5 cloves garlic, minced

-2 Tbsp olive oil

-2 28 oz cans whole peeled tomatoes

-pinch of red pepper flakes

-Peanut, Canola or Corn oil for frying.

-1 lb Ziti, Penne or Rigatoni

-1/2 cup pasta water


-Slice eggplant. Slice the largest ones in half so the pieces are about all equal. Set the slices in a colander and douse with salt. Let sit for 20 minutes so water can drain out.

-While eggplant is draining, mince garlic. Heat olive oil in a pot on medium. Once hot, add garlic and saute until brown, 3-4 minutes. Add tomatoes and use a tomato masher to mash. Add red pepper flakes and increase heat so sauce comes to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer.

-After 20 minutes, pat eggplant slices dry with paper towels.

-Cook pasta to package directions until al dente.

-In a pot, pour enough oil so there's about 1/2 inch all around. Turn heat to high and let it get very hot, give it 5 minutes or so. Fry eggplant in batches, 5 or 6 slices at a time. You shouldn't have to fry longer then 3-4 minutes on each side. Lay fried pieces on a paper towel to soak up excess oil.

-Once pasta is done, scoop 1/2 cup pasta water and add it to the tomato sauce. Drain the rest of the water and the pasta to the sauce. Stir and simmer for a few minutes and serve with a few slices of eggplant. Store together so sauce gets the yummy eggplant taste!