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Authentic Pasta alla Norma Recipe: A Sicilian Classic


Pasta alla Norma

Pasta alla Norma is a mouthwatering first course, a beloved classic of Sicilian cuisine cherished around the world! It's a pasta dish dressed in the typical Norma sauce, featuring tomato sauce, fried eggplant, grated ricotta salata, and fresh basil! A medley of Mediterranean flavors with unparalleled deliciousness, originating in the city of Catania around the early 1900s; its name "alla Norma" is said to have come from the Sicilian playwright Nino Martoglio. Upon tasting such a flavorful dish, to describe its wonderful taste symphony, he exclaimed "It's a Norma!" likening it to the famous opera by Vincenzo Bellini! Want to make it at home? Follow this Pasta alla Norma Recipe, complete with step-by-step photos and tips, and you'll create in no time a Sicilian pasta alla Norma just as good as that of the best restaurants in Sicily!


Why Make This Pasta?


  1. Sicilian Delight: This dish encapsulates the essence of Sicilian cuisine, boasting flavors that transport you to the sun-drenched shores of Italy.

  2. Quality Ingredients: Using fresh, high-quality ingredients is key to creating an authentic Pasta alla Norma. From ripe tomatoes to crispy fried eggplant, each component contributes to the dish's exceptional taste.

  3. Simple and Quick Preparation: With simple steps and readily available ingredients, this recipe offers a convenient way to enjoy a taste of Sicily in the comfort of your own home.

  4. Versatile and Flavorful: Whether it's a quick weekday dinner or a leisurely Sunday meal, Pasta alla Norma is perfect for any occasion. Its robust flavors and comforting appeal make it a favorite among families and guests alike.





Quantity for 4 servings

  • 320g pasta (penne, fusilli, rigatoni)

  • 400g eggplant

  • 700g ripe round tomatoes (or 500g canned peeled tomatoes)

  • 150g grated ricotta salata cheese

  • 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • Fresh basil leaves

  • Sea Salt

  • Olive oil for frying








Instructions:

  1. Prepare the Eggplant: Cut the eggplant into quarters and slice each quarter into thin slices, about a few millimeters thick. Fry the eggplant slices in a large skillet with plenty of hot oil for about 1-2 minutes per side until golden brown. Drain on paper towels and set aside.

  2. Prepare the Tomato Sauce: If using fresh tomatoes, score them, blanch in boiling water for 10 minutes, then peel and pass through a food mill or blend to obtain the pulp. If using canned peeled tomatoes, pass them through a food mill or blend until smooth. In a separate pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sauté the peeled and lightly crushed garlic cloves until golden. Add the tomato sauce and some basil leaves. Cook for 15 minutes over medium heat until the sauce thickens and becomes fragrant. Season with salt and add more fresh basil leaves. Remove the garlic from the sauce and set aside.

  3. Cook the Pasta: Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water until al dente. Drain the pasta and transfer it directly to the tomato sauce that you've placed back on low heat. Stir to coat the pasta evenly.

  4. Assemble the Dish: Divide the pasta among serving plates, then top each portion with fried eggplant slices and grated ricotta salata cheese. Garnish with fresh basil leaves.

  5. Serve and Enjoy: Your Pasta alla Norma is ready to be served! If you've cooked the pasta perfectly al dente, you can store it for later by reheating it gently with a bit of olive oil.

Conclusion: With its rich flavors and simple preparation, Pasta alla Norma is a testament to the culinary prowess of Sicilian cuisine. Whether enjoyed as a weekday meal or a special occasion dish, it's sure to delight your taste buds and transport you to the sunny shores of Sicily. Mangia bene!


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