“Pasta alla Norma”
“Pasta alla Norma” is one of the most famous Sicilian recipes in the world.
The scents and flavors of Sicily, magical and magnetic island, sunny and beautiful from North to South and from West to East.
This Catanese specialty is still nowadays a culinary tribute to the most beautiful opera of the famous composer Vincenzo Bellini: the Norma.
A delicious and tasty pasta dish seasoned with tomato sauce and a cascade of fried aubergines and a generous snowfall of baked salted ricotta cheese and fresh basil leaves.
All the Mediterranean fragrances gathered in one dish!
Pasta alla Norma is a dish with a unique and irresistible taste.
A vegetarian dish with traditional, simple and genuine ingredients: a true blast of flavors bite after bite!
Tomato sauce is essential to prepare this recipe according to tradition.
During the summer season, fresh, tasty and ripe tomatoes are the best option.
During the winter season, we know that it is impossible to find good tasty tomatoes.
Therefore the best alternative is to use a good quality of canned Italian peeled tomatoes.
Sicilians can’t wait for summer to eat Pasta alla Norma!
Regarding the salted ricotta:
I understand that it is difficult or almost impossible to find it.
Do not worry, I will explain how to make homemade Baked Ricotta at home in this link.
All you need is fresh ricotta, which I believe you’ll find in your supermarkets and a little patience.
Pasta alla Norma
A traditional Sicilian pasta recipe
- 500 gr. Short Pasta
- 2 Eggplants
- 500 gr. Diced Peeled Tomatoes
- 200 gr. Baked Salted Ricotta cheese
- 4 -5 Tbps Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 Cloves Garlic
- Sea Salt
- Fresh Basil leaves
Wash the eggplants, trim the ends and peel them leaving some skin on.
Cut the eggplants into cubes, place them in a colander and sprinkle lightly with sea salt.
Cover the colander with a plate and set aside for an hour.
Squeeze the eggplants with your hands to draw out the bitter liquid.
Fry the eggplants cubes in plenty of vegetable oil until golden brown.
Place the fried eggplants in a bowl with kitchen paper in order to absorb the excess oil.
Prepare the sauce.
In a large pan, brown two cloves of garlic with 4-5 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.
Add chopped tomatoes, season with salt and cook for about 15-20 minutes over low heat.
When the sauce is ready, add the fried eggplants, fresh basil leaves and continue to cook for another 5 minutes.
Cook the pasta al dente in abundant salted water.
When the pasta is cooked, transfer it to the pan with the sauce.
Turn the heat back on and toss well the pasta with the sauce adding a splash of the cooking water if necessary.
Add half of the Ricotta cheese and mix well.
Turn off the heat and serve sprinkling the rest of ricotta cheese and some more basil leaves.
For a lighter version cut the eggplants into slices, grill them without oil and then cut into cubes.