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I’ve been reading the Inspector Montalbano mysteries set in Sicily and enjoying not only his exploits but his eating. In one novel he enthusiastically eats Pasta alla Norma, which the author Andrea Camerili describes as pasta with tomato sauce, fried eggplant, ricotta salata, and fresh basil. Since I had an eggplant and ricotta salata in the house that needed to be used (the ricotta salata had begun to show a bit of mold), I entered “recipe pasta alla Norma” into Google and found numerous recipes. What I have submitted here is the main recipe without the eggplant. It is easy and delicdious.
Serves 2 to 4
- 6 ounces dried pasta
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1 28-ounce can diced tomatos
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flackes
- 4 ounces ricotta salata, grated
- 16 large basil leaves, stemmed
- Saute garlic in olive oil for 30 to 60 seconds until it starts to lightly color.
- Pour in the canned tomatoes with their juices and season with the red pepper flakes and black pepper. Simmer over low heat until slightly thickened, about 20 to 30 minutes.
- Bring well-salted water to boil and cook pasta according to the package instructions. Drain well.
- Layer 1/3 of the pasta, 1/3 of the sauce, 8 basil leaves, and 1/3 of the cheese. Repeat twice, the last time without the basil leaves.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe Using Fresh Basil