In this article you will discover how to prepare at home a very tasty Sicilian recipe, Pasta alla Norma. Continue reading the article to discover all the details!
One of the most famous dishes of the fragrant Sicilian cuisine is pasta alla Norma. They represent a true riot of Mediterranean scents and flavors and are one of the symbols of Sicily, a region where food really has another taste. It is a vegetarian dish in which the pasta is wrapped with fresh tomatoes, fried eggplant, fresh basil leaves and the inevitable salted ricotta cheese, a touch that is added in generous quantities at the end of cooking.
The natural and simple ingredients are at the base of pasta alla Norma, a preparation that is still made today as it was once done. The dish originates in the Catania area and was named after the most famous work of the composer Vincenzo Bellini, the Norma. We only have to find out how to prepare this delicious and succulent dish, remembering that each portion contains about 569 calories.
Here are the ingredients that you must use for the preparation of the Pasta alla Norma recipe. The indicated doses are for 4 people.
- Favorite pasta 320 gr
- Aubergines 500 gr
- Salted Ricotta 200 gr
- Extra virgin olive oil to taste
- Ramato tomatoes 850 gr
- Garlic cloves 2
- Fresh Basil 10 gr
- Salt to taste
- Extra virgin olive oil to taste
The preparation of this dish begins with washing, drying and cutting the tomatoes into quarters. In a pan, fry two whole cloves of garlic with the skin removed in a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. They will serve to flavor the dish but can be removed in case someone does not like their presence. After a few moments, add the tomatoes and cook over very low heat, putting a lid on the pan.
After about twenty minutes the tomatoes will have produced a delicious sauce and you can pass them in the masher to obtain a very smooth and uniform sauce. At this point you can pour the sauce into the pan where it was previously and adjust the salt. Finally it will cook for another 15 minutes so as to make it tighter. Pasta alla Norma would not be so good if there were no aubergines among the ingredients.
They should be washed, dried and cut into very thin slices. Only if you use aubergines with a bitterish taste is it advisable to cover the slices with salt and let them purge the excess water. Then they are fried in extra virgin olive oil. The temperature should be kept constant at 170° and the aubergines should be fried a few slices at a time. When they are well browned, they should be drained and placed on a sheet of kitchen paper to remove the superfluous oil and immediately salted. After bringing the water to a boil, add salt and cook the pasta al dente.
Drain the pasta and add it to the prepared sauce, to which the fresh basil leaves will be added beforehand, while the heat is still off. Stir and let it flavour over the heat for a few minutes. Finally serve the spaghetti on plates and enrich the sauce with fried aubergines and a generous grating of salted ricotta cheese. If you have more fried aubergines you can place them in a plate in the middle of the table, so that they can be added to the dishes, in case the diners would like an encore.
Curiosities and tips
For the pasta alla Norma recipe, short pasta shapes are indicated. Sedanini rigati, mezze maniche or rigatoni are perfect to absorb even better the tasty sauce. But you can also use spaghetti.
As already mentioned, the garlic can be removed before pouring the tomato in the vegetable masher, everyone chooses according to their taste. Aubergines can also be added to pasta directly into dishes or can be poured into the sauce beforehand. The personalization of the recipe is entrusted to the free imagination and linked to local traditions. It is better not to freeze spaghetti alla Norma, they are much better if eaten fresh. Enjoy your meal!