Pasta alla Norma is one of the most delicious dishes of Sicilian tradition. It combines fresh tomato sauce, small cubes or sliced fried eggplant and is sprinkled with a bit of ricotta salata that makes the dish even more tasty.
The pasta is widespread throughout Sicily, and each town has its own pasta alla norma better known by the name of “pasta cu li milinciani” (pasta with eggplants).
It is native to the area of Catania and where its name originated. But more specifically, it was Nino Martoglio (1870-1921), a well-known playwright from Catania, who, saw this well-seasoned dish and exclaimed: “Chista è ‘na vera Norma! “, “this is a real Norma”, to indicate its supreme goodness, comparing it to the masterpiece “Norma” of the great composer Vincenzo Bellini.
The Famous “Pasta alla Norma” with “Ricotta Salata”
- 400 g Rigatoni rigati pasta(14 oz)
- 1 ½ cup Tomato sauce
- 1 eggplant
- grated ricotta salata cheese
- Cut the eggplant into cubes, leave them in salted water for 20-30 minutes.
- Drain the eggplant cubes, I squeeze them with my hand and fry them in hot oil.
- Dry them on paper towels and set aside.
- Put in a pot for more than 3 liters and a half ( 1 gal ) of water, usually the best way to cook the pasta is by putting 1 liter (4 cupof water for every 100g (3.5 oz of pasta).
- And for every liter of water add 8g (1/2 tablespoon) of salt, it should only be put in when the water begins to boil.
- Add the pasta and cook for 10-12 minutes according to the instructions on the pasta pack, do not go beyond the allowed minutes.
- Drain the pasta and pour it into dishes, pour a small ladle of Tomato sauce on the pasta, add the fried eggplant, and then finally a sprinkle of grated ricotta salata.
- Buon appetito!!