Pasta alla Norma
Pasta alla Norma
Pasta chi Milinjiani a
This recipe originated in
, a city on the eastern side of
that sits on the shadow of
is a city subjected to the temperament of
, the highest and only active volcano in
Earthquakes and volcanic eruptions have destroyed this city several times. Yet
the city has managed to rebuild. It is a vibrant and modern metropolis, with wide streets and majestic
palaces; ancient monuments reminiscent of the Greek and Roman occupation and contemporary buildings where the
enterprising people of Catania live and work to make it the most industrious and energetic city of
It is called Pasta alla Norma in honor of Vincenzo Bellini, who composed the opera Norma in
The chef who created this dish
wanted to honor Bellini, but he also wanted to immortalize Mount
spaghetti and the fried eggplants were the mountains, the tomato sauce portrayed the lava and the grated
ricotta salata, the eternal snow of the Mt. Etna.
3 tablespoons of olive
1 medium onion, finely
1 can of 14 oz. Italian peeled
tomatoes, cut in small pieces with juice
¼ cup basil leaves
3 Italian eggplants cut into
cubes, sprinkle with salt and place in colander for 30 minutes
1 cup olive oil for
1 lb. spaghetti or your
½ lb. grated aged Ricotta
Salata cheese (if you cannot find it, use a mild aged feta cheese)
12 whole basil leaves for
Salt and pepper to
Over a medium flame, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a 12 inch sauté
Add diced onions and sauté until golden, about 5 to 7 minutes.
Add tomatoes, raise heat to high and cook for an additional 3 minutes stirring occasionally.
Add chopped basil, salt and pepper to taste.
Lower the flame and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the sauce is thick.
Pat dry the eggplants with a clean dish
towel or paper towels.
Fry the cubes in 1 cup of olive oil. Place fried eggplants on paper towels to drain the oil and set
Cook pasta according to package directions, reducing recommended cooking
time by 2 minutes.
Drain pasta well and put back in pot.
Toss in one cup of tomato sauce and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil used to fry the eggplants.
Mix for 2 minutes on a low heat or until pasta and sauce are well combined.
Plate individual portions of pasta, add a spoonful of sauce, a helping of
eggplants, and cover each plate with ricotta salata.
Garnish with basil leaves and serve immediately.
Note If you
want to substitute fresh vine ripe tomatoes, prepare as follow:
Rinse well 2 ½
lb. of tomatoes and boil for 5 minutes.
When cooled to the touch, peel, cut in half, remove seeds and