Penne with Cherry Tomato Sauce & Fried Eggplant…this happens to be one of my all time favorite pasta dishes and when the garden is producing plenty of fresh tomatoes and eggplants it’s the time to go for it! The dish reminds me of the classic Sicilian dish, Pasta alla Norma. The main difference is that Pasta alla Norma uses freshly grated Ricotta Salata, a semi-hard dried ricotta cheese. If that strikes your fancy use it instead of the Parmesan.
I like to sizzle garlic and a bit of peperoncino in olive oil, add the tomatoes then cover and cook without stirring. Some of the juices seep out to make a luscious sauce but the tomatoes remain intact and explode with flavor at every bite. I slice the eggplants super thin, pat dry, lightly dust with flour and fry in extra virgin olive oil. To serve gently toss the penne in the sauce, place in a serving platter and generously sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan. Top with the eggplant, add more Parmesan and serve. A nice salad and a crisp white wine complete the meal.