Pasta alla Norma


“Pasta alla Norma” is a first course originating from Sicily: a speciality from Catania in honour of the “Norma”, the well-known opera by the Catania-born Vincenzo Bellini.


Cooking salt
200 gr. salted ricotta cheese
2 cloves of garlic
12 basil leaves

2 medium-sized aubergines
400 gr. spaghetti (or other pasta)
500 gr. peeled Italian tomatoes
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

For frying:
Olive oil

Wash the aubergines and cut off the tips, then cut into 4 mm-thick longitudinal slices. Place the aubergine slices in a large strainer and sprinkle them with cooking salt. Cover with a plate, place a weight on top and leave for 1 hour. Prepare the tomato sauce by lightly frying the garlic in the oil and then adding the peeled tomatoes. Cook the tomatoes on a low heat until they break up. Remove from the heat and add half of the fresh basil leaves. Rinse the aubergine slices thoroughly to remove the salt, dry them with a cloth and fry them in very hot but not boiling olive oil, until golden. Place the aubergine slices on kitchen paper to absorb the excess oil. Boil the pasta and, in the meantime, grate the ricotta and set aside in a container. Cut the fried aubergines slices into strips and place in a pan with a few tablespoons of tomato sauce. Strain the al dente pasta and add to the condiment in the pan. Stir fry for a minute then serve in a plate with some more tomato sauce and cover with a few slices of aubergine. kept aside for this purpose, the salted ricotta and the remaining basil leaves.

Buon appetito!

Serves 4 people
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 35 minutes