Fr. Z’s Kitchen: The South

It has been awhile since I’ve cooked something interesting for myself. After my trip a few months ago which included Sicily, I’ve had a hankering for Pasta alla Norma. Today I saw that my DVR had picked up the Met’s broadcast of Norma, after which the pasta was names. I figured that was the signal, so I gathered my ingredients and did it.

Always use short pasta.  I made a simple tomato sauce from San Marzano and fried eggplant.  Use ricotta salata and fresh basil.  This is a really easy one.   Always fry the eggplant in olive oil, don’t grill.  I think this is best with a base of garlic in the sauce rather than onion (pick one or the other and don’t burn garlic).

For my second, I opted for scaloppine al limone e vino bianco… again with the south and the lemons, though this isn’t so much a southern thing.

After pounding out the scaloppine, flouring it, and giving it proper color in the butter, I put them aside and deglazed with lemon juice and white wine, adding a touch of thyme and a couple little threads of saffron.

VERY seedy lemon.  I had to sort that out.


UPDATE Monday 18 June:

Since I was in the mood, I threw together a pizza.  I had a pre-made crust.  I like pizza super thin and crispy.  Sauce: I had made before.  Cheese: a combination of what I had on hand.  With a sprinkling of thyme and lots of fresh basil = Lunch.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Absit invidia says:

    You’ve likely already seen them, but there are some handy tools that you can try to shave off some time: the lemon press here

    … and the garlic press here

    … and shoppers can also support our host with a small commission by clicking over there from this website.

    [Thanks for that!]

  2. JonPatrick says:

    When I saw the heading “Fr. Z’s Kitchen: the South” I thought we were in for fried chicken, collard greens and hush puppies and was pleasantly surprised. I should try eggplant again, haven’t had much luck with it in the past.

  3. Grateful to be Catholic says:

    Mmmmm. Looks good. I will have to try these. I have found that the trick to frying eggplant, which I do for ratatouille, is not to give it all the olive oil it wants as it can absorb the whole bottle. I learned the hard way to use just enough to lightly coat the surface so it doesn’t stick. Keep it tossed until very lightly browned as Fr. Z’s photos show. [That’s right! Just enough to get that fry on without turning it into oil sponge.]

    And, Father, you seem to have stepped up from the hot plate. Congratulations!

  4. teomatteo says:

    Was your mother Italian?

    [No, my mother is not Italian.]

  5. robtbrown says:

    Another eggplant pasta recipe, this from Ormond Plantation, just west of New Orleans and a few miles from Oak Alley.

    Eggplant Maurepas

    Eggplant slices lightly breaded and fried
    served on angel hair pasta topped with
    sautéed shrimp, blue claw crabmeat,
    and artichoke hearts in a creamy roasted
    tomato sauce.

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