Rumor has it this Sicilian dish was named for Bellini's opera Norma, first performed in 1831, which tells the story of a tragic love affair between a Roman official and a Druid high priestess. It is to die for!
I only make it when I find eggplant at the farmers' market, thanks to Diane and Rick at the Goodlife Greenhouse.
2 cloves garlic
4-5 plum tomatoes
6 basil leaves, plus extra for garnish
salt and pepper
ricotta or parmesan cheese
pasta of your choice
Slice the eggplant in rounds. Coat each side with olive oil, place on a baking sheet, sprinkle with salt and broil on the second level of the oven until soft and brown, turning to cook both sides.
Sauté garlic in 2 tbsp olive oil. Stir in chopped tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until tomatoes are softened, then stir in chopped basil. Simmer for 15 min. In the meantime, cook the pasta.
Cut each slice of eggplant into quareters. Add to the tomatoes. To serve, top a bowl of pasta with the tomato-eggplant mixture and sprinkle with cheese. Garnish with extra fresh basil, if you like.