Pasta alla Norma – with aubergines and ricotta salata

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Here is a very typical recipe from the South of Italy, from Sicily to be precise!  

The name of this dish is a tribute to the “Norma” by Vincenzo Bellini, the famous opera!

It’s usually cooked in summer, the season of the aubergines! Actually, it’s a dish that really smells like summer. 

If you have some guests for dinner, I can guarantee they’ll be delighted! A properly done Norma is delicious. 

This recipe is for 4 people: 

Ingredients:

  • 400 g maccheroni o penne 
  • 450 g tomato puree 
  • 1 clove garlic 
  • 2 aubergines 
  • 200 g ricotta salata (a kind of cheese) 
  • Fresh basil 
  • Olive oil, salt  

Wash the aubergines, cut them into square little pieces and put them in a colander with some salt for 30 minutes. In this way they’ll lose the bitter part of their taste. 

Clean them with some kitchen paper and fry them in olive oil. When they’re ready, let them properly rinse on some adequate kitchen paper. 

In the meanwhile, cook the tomato sauce with the garlic clove, salt and some olive oil (after some minutes, when the garlic has left its aroma, I throw garlic away). 

Let the sauce cook for at least 20 minutes. When it’s ready, turn it off and add some fresh basil that you can tear with your own hands. 

Cook pasta al dente. 

When it’s ready, season it with the tomato sauce, put some fried aubergines (they must be hot) on top and some grated ricotta salata. Don’t use normal ricotta because it’s something very different. Ricotta salata is a cheese that can be grated, while normal ricotta is fresh and it would ruin the result of your cooking efforts.

If you want you can decorate the plate with a basil leaf. 

Serve pasta alla Norma very warm and good appetite!!!! Just the smell of this dish will make you dream. Everybody will be in a good mood!

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