I NOSTRI CLIENTI CI AMANO

Pasta alla Norma, origini e ricetta originale siciliana per farla a casa

Pasta alla Norma , an original recipe from Catania and the flagship of Sicilian cuisine , is a first course that fits perfectly into the Mediterranean diet. Pasta, aubergines, tomatoes, ricotta salata and the ever-present fresh basil are the essential ingredients: in short, be wary of versions without ricotta or without frying (the calories here are countless!), any Sicilian would smile sarcastically at the idea of ​​eating a Standard that does not respect the fundamental dictates of the typical recipe.

The origins of pasta alla Norma

The story about the origins of the dish is interesting. According to common opinion, the name of this first course comes from an exclamation by Nino Martoglio (playwright from Catania) who, enraptured by the heady scent of the dish, would have said: “ Chista è 'na vera Norma! ” comparing it to the famous and homonymous work by Vincenzo Bellini .

The ingredients of pasta alla Norma

We anticipated the ingredients of the Norma above, but that's not enough: we need to specify.

  • Some people cut them into cubes and others into slices: the most suitable aubergines , however, are the long and black ones.
  • The pasta : it should be short in order to better accommodate the filling. The most traditional version is rigatoni .
  • The tomatoes are peeled : no tomato puree or ready-made sauce.
  • Ricotta salata : tastier and "harder" than the classic one, it is a typical cheese of Southern Italy and in Norma it is irreplaceable: don't let yourself be seduced by mozzarella, grana or pecorino.
  • Basil needs no introduction, on Norma it is a bit like the icing on the cake, it releases that scent which is the prelude to a priceless culinary experience.

Perfect Pasta alla Norma: the original recipe

  • ½ kg of peeled tomatoes
  • 350 g of rigatoni
  • 150 g of salted ricotta
  • 2 medium long aubergines
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • A dozen basil leaves
  • extra virgin olive oil to taste
  • salt and pepper

Wash the aubergines, peel them and cut them into slices. Sprinkle them with coarse salt by placing them in layers in a colander. Cover them with a weight and let them rest for 30/60 minutes. In the meantime, prepare the tomato sauce by pouring extra virgin olive oil into a pan and browning the garlic. Then add the peeled tomatoes and cook over medium-low heat for 20 minutes. Pass through a sieve as desired. Season with salt and pepper and perfume with basil. After the indicated time, rinse the aubergines under running water, squeeze them and dry them. Fry them in hot olive oil in a pan. Gradually transfer them to a tray lined with absorbent kitchen paper to absorb the excess oil. Add the aubergines, cut into long strips as desired, to the sauce. Cook the pasta, drain it and transfer it to the pan with the sauce. Season, then transfer to bowls, covering again with the aubergine, grated ricotta salata and a fresh basil leaf.

Can you make pasta alla Norma in the oven ? The answer is yes: in this case, and only in this case, you can add the mozzarella. And what do we think of a Norma light ? Everything is possible in the kitchen, but why waste such a tempting opportunity?

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