Pasta Alla Norma
(Based on Food Lab Science recipe)
One eggplant, sliced into quarter circles 1/2 inch slices
2 Tablespoons of olive oil
2 Tablespoons of unsalted butter
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Pinch of pepper flakes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 Crushed tomatoes can
1 pound penne
Toss eggplant slices with 1 teaspoon kosher salt in a large bowl. Let it stand for 30 minutes.
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of butter in pan, until butter is melted and there is no foam. Add the onion, fry until it is transparent. Add garlic, oregano, and pepper flakes, and stir for a miute. Add tomato paste and stir thoroughly, then add the crushed tomatoes. Reduce heat to a simmer and stir occasionally until sauce is thickened.
Pat eggplant dry. Fry slices until they are brown on both sides. Transfer to paper towel to soak up excess oil.
Cook pasta until it is almost done. Drain and reserve a cup of cooking water, then return to pot.
Add the sauce and stir, adding some of the cooking water if necesssary. Stir in the carmelized eggplant.