Search in this blog

Mama Isa's Pasta alla Norma

Mama Isa's Rigatoni with Norma Sauce - Recipe of the day

A Famous Sicilian Dish ---> Pasta Alla Norma Sauce - true symbol if traditional Sicilian Cuisine ****************************Did you know the story? A Sicilian writer - Nino Martoglio - who liked Vincenzo Bellini and his opera Norma, was a native of Catania (Sicily, the same city where Bellini as born). Martoglio first tasted pasta dressed with a simple tomato sauce, fried eggplant, and ricotta salata cheese..... he thought it was as close to perfection as the opera "Norma" was, and gave it this name "Pasta alla Norma". ****************** **********

INGREDIENTS to serve 4 people 
4 small firm eggplants (1 per person)
sea salt for water and for eggplant
Vegetable Oil to fry
Extra Virgin Olive Oil for the sauce
1 onion chopped
500 g canned Italian plum tomatoes, preferably San Marzano
360 g of rigatoni or ziti
12 large fresh basil leaves
100 g ricotta salata, freshly shaved on a cheese shaver

Trim the eggplants, and cut them in cubes. Toss them with sea salt, and drain in a colander for an hour.
Rinse, and pat them dry with paper towels.

Pour the vegetable oil in the pan, and set over medium heat. Spread all the eggplant cubes in the hot oil, and leave them in place for a few minutes to start browning.
Fry for about 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the eggplant is cooked through and browned on all sides.

Lift the cubes out of the oil with a spoon, and spread them on a bowl lined with paper towels.
Put the eggplant in a warm place, while you will make the tomato's sauce and pasta.

Pour water, with salt, into the big pasta pot, and bring to a boil (usually for 100 g of pasta is 1 liter, and a tablespoon of salt).

Pour the extra virgin olive oil into the pan, toss in the onion chopped, and set over heat. Cook until the onion is translucent, then pour in the crushed tomatoes.
Bring the tomatoes to a boil, then cook the sauce for 15 minutes. Add salt to taste.

Meanwhile, when the pasta water boils, pour the pasta. Cook until al dente, then pour them in a colander, drain for a moment, and drop into the tomato sauce. Toss together for 2 minutes.
Turn off the heat.
 Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil all over, add half cubes of eggplant, and toss well.
Now spread again the eggplant cubes on top of the pasta, and sprinkle over it the ricotta salata.

Serve immediately, spooning both pasta and a portion of eggplant cubes.

Ziti with Norma Sauce - recipe of the day at Mama Isa's Cooking Classes near Venice Italy
Pasta alla Norma

And if you learn how to make delicious pasta sauces, take a cooking class in Italy with Mama Isa! or become Mama Isa's fan