October 23rd , 2015Pasta Alla Norma with Chef Larry Our own Chef Larry is here to share one of his favorite fall recipes: Pasta Alla Norma, or Pasta with Eggplant and Tomato. We suggest pairing this dish with a Whitehall Lane Malbec to warm the upcoming chilly nights. If you’re interested in booking a cooking class with Chef Larry, email him at Larry@whitehalllane.com. Pasta Alla Norma 2 eggplants, cut into 1⁄2inch thick slices 1⁄4 cup extra virgin olive oil 1 small onion, chopped 1 carrot, chopped 2 cloves garlic, chopped 2 stalks celery, chopped 3 lbs tomatoes, peeled, seeded & chopped Or two 28 oz cans San Marzano tomatoes 1⁄2 cup basil leaves 1⁄4 cup Parsley 11⁄2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes Salt & pepper to taste 1 lb spaghetti (smaller pasta also works well) Directions: Salt eggplant slices and let drain for 1⁄2 to 1 hour. Rinse and pat dry. Lightly oil and heat your grill or grill pan. Brush olive oil on both sides of eggplant and cool until charred and tender. In a food processor, add half the eggplant, onion, carrot, garlic, and celery, pulse a few times to make a coarse grind. Chop the remaining eggplant and set aside. Add remaining olive oil to a large saucepan, heat and add the ground vegetables, stirring occassionally for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, coarsely grind tomatoes, basil and parsely then add to the saucepan with the pepper flakes, salt and pepper. When it has reached a simmer, stir in reserved eggplant and continue cooking for about 30 minutes until a thick sauce is formed. In the meantime, pour yourself a glass of Whitehall Lane Malbec. Prepare the spaghetti, reserving some of the pasta water. In a large sauté pan over medium heat, add the pasta and the sauce. With a pair of tongs, mix gently until the pasta has been incorporated into the sauce. Add some of the reserved pasta water if the sauce becomes too thick. Serve immediately garnished with some grated Pecorino cheese and fresh basil.