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Pasta alla Norma,
a soft revisiting

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Among the great specialties of Sicilian cuisine, in this case, more properly, from Catania, there is this colorful and fragrant dish of pasta, vegetables and dairy products.
A dish dedicated to another pride of the city of Catania:
Bellini and his Norma.

Although it is a relatively simple preparation (otherwise I would very rarely prepare it), you need to dedicate some time and patience to it.
Eggplants must be thoroughly purged and then, unless you are in possession of a giant fryer, fried a few at a time.

Then the ricotta must be that hard, grated.
Here, however, I have given an interpretation soft using a local semi-hard ricotta:
I don't always have the time to go to the south of the Alps for shopping!

Ingredients for two persons:










ricotta cheese (v. Note)






Cherry tomatoes



extra virgin olive oil



Fry oil





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Clean and slice the aubergines.

Put them in a colander, mix them with coarse salt and cover them with a weight.
Allow them to drain for at least an hour.

After this period, boil the water for the pasta.
Rinse the aubergines well and dry them on a cloth.

Clean the tomatoes, blanch them in the boiling water prepared for the pasta and peel them (alternatively use peeled tomatoes).
Peel the garlic and crush it just with the plate of the knife blade

Heat the frying oil and fry the aubergines a few at a time until golden.
Drain and set aside.

Throw the pasta into boiling salted water.
In a large pan, brown the garlic cloves and then add the tomatoes and then some chopped basil leaves.
Season with salt and pepper.

Add the aubergines to the pan, drain the pasta and pour it over the rest of the sauce.
Stir well over high heat for a couple of minutes.

Out of the heat add the chopped basil leaves and the ricotta.
Mix well.

Arrange the pasta on the plates and decorate them with basil leaves.

Buon appetito!


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  • print pdf Recipe, text only: to print or download.
  • ricotta cheese: as written above, the original recipe necessarily requires hard, grated ricotta. In my review soft I replaced it with a local semi-hard ricotta: excellent but ... the difference is felt!
  • This is what pasta alla Norma looks like served with hard salted ricotta... a couple of weeks after taking photos for the recipe I found it; replicating it was, in practice, an obligation! 

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