Monday, February 7, 2011


I have a confession- I'm not the biggest pasta fan.
Ok, that's sort of a lie.
I actually love pasta in any way, shape or form. I just don't eat it all that much. Not that I'm low carb or anything- if you've read this blog at all you'd know that.
It's just that I try not to eat too much white flour ( and when I do, I like it in cookie form).

But my husband, who was born and raised in Italy, loves his pasta. He'd eat it every day if I made it. I'm almost positive that before we got married he did eat pasta everyday. What can I say? He's a man who knows what he loves.

So to keep him happy, I make pasta every now and again, but usually I make a whole wheat version for myself (Gian Luca doesn't eat whole wheat pasta- that would be like giving up his Italian passport).

This particular pasta dish makes an appearance in my new book ( a novel with recipes).
I don't know the origin of pasta alla Norma, but I do know that it is a delicious mix of eggplant, onions and tomatoes. If you like eggplant parmigiana, you'll love this one.

Pasta alla Norma
serves two

1/2 pound rigatoni
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
7 Roma tomatoes, diced.
2 cups eggplant, diced
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup grated parmigiano reggiano cheese
1/4 cup grated ricotta salata ( or feta)

1) Bring ten cups of water to boil. Add salt to flavor the pasta.
2) Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add the onions, salt and pepper and cook until translucent.
3) Add the tomatoes and eggplant. Reduce the heat to low and allow the sauce to simmer for 15-20 minutes, adding a few spoonfuls of the pasta water if necessary. (While the sauce is simmering, you can cook the pasta).
4) Once the pasta is cooked, add it to the saucepan, and toss to coat it.
5) Top the pasta with grated parmigiano reggiano and ricotta salata ( or feta)

Friday, February 4, 2011

another snow day

It's 10:13am and I'm writing this post from my bed. Normally I'd be at the gym by now ( new years resolution!!) or at least, showered and out the door. But today, for the fourth day in a row, I'm home, savoring my snow day.
Today is especially nice because I woke up at about 6 am feeling like I got leveled by a bus. I'm a workaholic so I would have gone into work anyway, but the freshly fallen snow saved me.
It's lovely, really. I'd take a picture for you but you can probably look out your window and see the same exact scene ( unless you live some place tropical- in which case, I envy you)

I don't know about you, but snow days always make me lazy. I know I should be doing some work, getting ahead on my lesson plans, or creating cool assignments, but really, snow days are made for taking a break, fixing yourself a cup of tea and putting your feet up.
Think back to when you were a kid. You didn't do homework on a snow day. You went out and played!

Honestly, all I've really done is send a few emails and correct a few papers. I haven't even cooked much, hence the sandwich. Though, this afternoon I will be making a big pot of chicken soup.
And while that's cooking, I'll be doing what I love best. Reading.
I just finished Elizabeth Bard's Lunch in Paris, and Gretchen Rubin's The Happiness Project. After all that non-fiction, I'm craving some quality fiction, so I'm about to start Mary Anne Shaffer and Annie Barrows's The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society.
I'm a fast reader and it looks like I'll be in bed most of the weekend, so throw your recommendations my way.

Ah, the luxury of snow days. When else can we devote and entire day to doing stuff we love?
What do you do on your snow days?