spaghetti alla norma or often simply spaghetti alle melanzane is the sicilian staple pasta dish. what cacio e pepe and and carbonara are too lazio (i want to add amatriciana but its starting to defeat my point..) in general travelling in sicily the eggplants elevated stature becomes obvious. used in a multitude of ingenious ways, another striking example being the caponata a type of sweet and sour cooked vegetable salad (although salad does it no justice, infusion would be more appropriate.)
but melanzane are a difficult vegatable to cook. the inner structure must get hot enough to break, and release the inner humidity, but the vegetable also benefits greatly in flavour if the outer part becomes hot enough that it caramelizes and browns. which often poses a difficulty as the released liquid doesn't allow the outside to get hot enough to caramelize. sauteing in a pan is further complicated because the eggplant absorbs any oil in the pan almost immediately. the sicilian solution is to deep fry the eggplant. and if the eggplants have been presalted and already released some fluids and then are fried at a hot enough temperature they shouldn't soak too much oil. but still its tricky. salting can sometimes leave the eggplants salty (never use finely ground salt because then over salting is impossible to avoid) and eggplants have an extreme ability to absorb the surrounding liquid more often than not they take up alot of oil anyways. you can toss them in flour to reduce this problem and if served only deepfried they are wonderful like this. (for instance cut in sticks as a type of eggplant french fry). but mixing flour and tomatoe sauce makes me cringe a little... the solution to all these problems is too simply roast them in the oven. you have perfect control of salt and oil (and since it is not deep fried extra virgin olive).