- Cook Time
- Difficulty Level Easy
PASTA ALLA NORMA RECIPE
Pasta alla norma, has everything you want from a delicious Sicilian pasta dish. Crispy eggplant, salty ricotta cheese, luscious tomato sauce…and the ideal pasta shape to scoop it all up with. Fun fact: Pasta alla norma is named after Bellini’s 19th-century opera, Norma..and I promise you’ll be singing your way back to the pan for more once you try this satisfying eggplant pasta treat.
300g/8oz Casarecce Dry Pasta
Small bunch fresh basil
2 cloves garlic
Ricotta Salata (Up to 250g)
1 can peeled tomatoes or 1 x bottle passata
Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
Vegetable oil (for frying)
Salt + Pepper
2 medium sized deep pans
Medium size mixing bowl
Large pot for boiling pasta
- Pasta alla norma needs quality tender eggplants, so start by trimming the top and bottom of one (or two) and then cut into strips.
- In the meantime, heat up vegetable oil in a deep pan or small pot.
- Once the oil reaches a temperature of 180°C/356°F (or you can see it is ready!) place a handful of your strips in at a time and fry them up!
- Pasta alla norma is all about the crispy eggplant, so once the eggplant strips are golden brown, remove from the oil and put them onto a plate lined with paper towels to absorb any excess liquid and leave to rest.
- Add 5L water to a large pot and leave it to boil while you prepare your sauce.
- This Sicilian Eggplant pasta is made with a fresh tomato sauce, so pour the peeled tomatoes into a medium mixing bowl and crush using a vegetable mashing utensil.
- Once you have created a puree of tomatoes, add salt and pepper and mix with a wooden spoon.
- Next place a medium size pan on your stove at low-medium heat and warm up a generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
- Once the oil is slightly warm crush the garlic cloves, adding them to the pan and stir.
VINCENZO’S PLATE TIP: To prevent burning the garlic, add a tablespoon of water (slowly) to the pan, and mix it through.
- Pour the tomato mix into the pan and drop the temperature to a lower heat so it cooks slowly.
- Now it’s time to cook your pasta, so add a tablespoon of rock salt to the water, stir to help dissolve and leave to cook as per packet instructions.
VINCENZO’S PLATE TIP: Leave the lid slightly off centre on top of the pot letting some air in so the pot doesn’t overflow.
- Add ¾ of the eggplant to your sauce and leave to simmer (at a low temperature) before breaking up a few fresh basil leaves and adding these too.
- Once the pasta is ready, get a cup full of pasta water and put it to the side.
- Using a hand sieve, strain the pasta and add it to the sauce before adding the cup of water and stirring through, leaving it to cook for one more minute.
- Grate some ricotta salata in the pan and mix through until melted.
HOW TO SERVE:
Add a few generous scoops of pasta to a serving bowl, a small handful of crispy eggplant (remember the extra you had put to the side?) along with freshly grated ricotta salata and a couple of basil leaves…
E ora si mangia, Vincenzo’s Plate…Enjoy!
If you Love EGGPLANT (Aubergine) you will also love My Mother-in-Law Calabrese Eggplant Pasta
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