Pasta alla Norma is a triumph of Mediterranean scents and colors, a simple recipe where the genuine flavors of fried aubergines, tomatoes, basil and salted ricotta are mixed to give rise to an exceptional, rich, but always airy, graceful symphony.
How graceful is the “Norma”, the work of the great composer Vincenzo Bellini, from whom the name of the dish is thought to come.
The ingredients for pasta alla Norma are few and must be treated with respect. For the sauce choose ripe San Marzano tomatoes at the right point and not peeled tomatoes, fresh basil and salted ricotta to seal the dish with a delicious flavor.
Imitated all over the world Let’s take advantage of the summer, freshly picked aubergines and tomatoes and basil so fragrant to make this spectacular recipe thousand times over, which with a few more aubergines can also serve as a single vegetarian dish. And if you want an even more delicious Pasta alla Norma, pass the aubergines in the egg and then in the breadcrumbs for a dream-like breading.
Let’s finish with the pasta format: for the Norma sauce the most suitable are spaghetti or long pasta, but also try with rigatoni, paccheri, conchiglioni and all the rough pasta that holds the tomato sauce well.
But just talk, let’s go to the original recipe of pasta alla Norma.
Ingredients of pasta alla Norma
- 6 ounces of pasta (penne, spaghetti or rigatoni)
- 3 eggplants, 450 grams
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 8 San Marzano tomatoes
- 60 grams of basil
- 150 grams of salted ricotta to grate
- 45 grams of extra virgin olive oil
- 6 grams of salt
How to prepare pasta alla Norma
Let’s start with the aubergines: cut them into 1 cm thick slices and then sprinkle them with coarse salt and leave them to rest in the colander for at least an hour.
Let’s think about tomatoes. Blanch them for a few seconds, so you will be able to peel them better, then cut them into pieces and remove the seeds.
Put a few tablespoons of oil in a pan, crush the garlic and fry for a minute, then add the tomatoes, basil, salt and cook over low heat, until it thickens.
Be careful, however, not to overcook the tomato, which must remain fresh enough to counteract the heavy flavor of fried aubergines.
After an hour, rinse the aubergines and fry them mercilessly in plenty of olive oil and then drain them on absorbent paper and pat them dry.
As “healthy” and vegetarian as the dish is, know that aubergines are real leeches with oil, so put your heart in peace right away.
Cook the pasta in abundant salted water and drain it a few minutes before cooking and finish cooking in the tomato sauce.
Prepare the dishes by putting the pasta seasoned with a generous sauce, the slices of fried eggplant, a basil leaf and a nice sprinkle of ricotta salata.
Which wine to pair with pasta alla Norma?
We choose a red wine with soft tannins and beautiful fruit, fresh and vibrant to cleanse the mouth from the rather demanding dressing. Let’s play the cantons game: for a Sicilian recipe, why not combine a wine from the Aosta Valley? The Valle d’Aosta Torrette Superiore Vigne Rovettaz 2011 from the Grosjean winery is the ideal wine. Champagne and Franciacorta are always two great ways to degrease your mouth and add a tickling touch with plenty of bubbles. Prosecco is a nice option too.
If you want to combine a cocktail, the Moscow Mule is the king, perfect for refreshing the palate with its very fresh flavor.