By Elaine Trigiani

Elaine Trigiani develops recipes, writes, and teaches olive oil tasting seminars and olive oil cooking classes in the United States and in Italy.

Norma In Bianco - Norma Wears White

  • 3/4 lb pasta, short
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, fresh
  • sweet basil, torn into big bits
  • 3-4 leaves mint, torn into big bits
  • 4-6 eggplant
  • extra virgin olive oil (high-quality)
  • salt      
  • 1/2 cup almonds, toasted and roughly chopped
  • ricotta salata (or substitute with a sharp cheese like pecorino romano)
Peel eggplant in stripes, slice thinly, and sauté in some olive oil. You don’t need to deep fry despite what most cookbooks tell you. Just add enough olive oil to a skillet so that the eggplant doesn’t stick. It should cook nice and brown and then release the oil it absorbed in the beginning.

Turn them halfway through cooking, and drain them on paper towels once done. They’ll be nice and crispy brown when they’re ready.

Finely chop the garlic and sauté in a few tablespoons of olive oil. When it’s just beginning to cook, add the basil and mint.

Boil the pasta in a good amount of salted water. When the pasta is cooked al dente, drain it and add it to the pan with the garlic and herbs.

Sauté everything together for a few minutes to allow the pasta to absorb the flavors of the sauce. Add the eggplant and the almonds and sauté, adding a few more tablespoons of olive oil.

Transfer to a serving bowl and grate cheese on top.

Yield: 4 servings