Tomato, Aubergine and Ricotta Salata Pasta (pasta alla norma) - Sicilia, Primo

April 13, 2015
0 Ratings
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

Pasta alla Norma is a quintessential Siclian dish named for the opera, Norma, written by Catania resident Vincenzo Bellini in 1831. During that time, a masterpiece compared to "a Norma" which indicates the how highly prized this recipe was.
To see step-by-step illustrated instructions, please go to this page: —woo wei-duan

What You'll Need
  • 3 oblong aubergines, rinsed and cut into 2 cm cubes
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • 60 milliliters olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, skin removed and bruised
  • 1.5 kilos tomatoes, skin and seeds removed, cut into cubes (can substitute 700 gms tomato passata)
  • 20 grams basil, rinsed and dried
  • 400 grams penne, spaghetti or ziti
  • 100 grams ricotta salata cheese, coarsely grated
  • sea salt
  1. Place the aubergine in a bowl and fill with cold water and sprinkle 30 grams of sea salt over top (don't worry this will be drained away).
  2. Weight the top to ensure the aubergine are submerged and leave for 1 hour.
  3. Remove the aubergine with a slotted spoon onto a kitchen towel and squeeze to dry the aubergine. This may take a few towels.
  4. Heat the 5 cm of vegetable oil in a saucepan to 190C.
  5. Add the aubergine in batches, frying until golden.
  6. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper lined tray.
  7. Place 7 litres of water and 70 grams of salt in a large pot and heat over high heat.
  8. In a terracotta pot or heavy bottomed pan, heat the olive oil with the garlic cloves over low heat until golden.
  9. Add the tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes fall apart and turn into a sauce, about 30 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove the garlic and discard.
  10. Add the basil to the tomato sauce.
  11. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook for the time indicated on the packaging. Drain the pasta and toss with the tomato sauce, aubergine and ricotta salata cheese.

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