Eggplant recipe: La Pasta Alla Norma.
Autumn is finished and winter as slowly begun, which means: eggplant are at their best! If you are a eggplant lover like us you should definitely try this awesome Sicilianrecipe from the Etna area and more precisely from Catania: La Pasta Alla Norma
Pasta Alla Norma: origin of the recipe.
The name of the pasta is a tribute to the Bellini’s opera “Norma”. The legend says that the playwright Nino Mortaglio, from catania, when tasted for the first time this delicious dish loudly said : “chista e’ na vera Norma!” (this is a truly Norma) to intent that it was a masterpiece of art!
Pasta Alla Norma: ingredients
The ingredients of this recipe are an essential element of the mediterranean diet, from the eggplant to the tomato sauce, from the basil to the ricotta salata.
- 400 gr of casarecce pasta
- 2 medium size eggplant
- 1 lt of tomato sauce
- 2 garlic cloves ( or one onion) – someone says the original is with garlic others says with onions…who knows!
- ricotta salata (to freshly grate on top)
- fresh basil (if in season. we had it already in the homemade sauce so we used parsley as garnish instead)
- E.V.O oil
- Salt & Pepper
Pasta Alla Norma: Method
The secret of the success of this recipe is the balance between the richness of the fried eggplant and the freshness of the tomato sauce.
- First of all start to cutting the eggplants in small-medium cubes and few thin slices,
- In a large pan pour enough evo oil to fry the eggplants. (don’t let the oil reach the smoking point),
- Fry all the eggplants until golden brown then place them on a cooking paper to absorb the extra oil,
- In the same pan, just leave some of the oil you used for frying the eggplants and start to shallow fry the garlic (or the onion),
- add the eggplants cubes (keep the slices for later as garnish)
- add the tomato sauce and adjust with salt and pepper,
- cook the pasta aldente, and when you strain it keep a glass of the water aside,
- toss the pasta in the pan with the sauce with a bit of the cooking water
- add fresh basil.
Serve the pasta nice and hot with a freshly grated ricotta salata on top.
Wine to match: Nero D’avola