Pasta Alla Norma - Authentic Italian Recipe
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Pasta Alla Norma {Sicilian Recipe}

Legendary pasta from Sicily with eggplants in rich tomato sauce.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time35 mins
Servings: 4

Ingredients

Instructions

Eggplants

  • Slice eggplant crosswise into ⅙ inch (5mm) thick round slices and/or large sticks.
  • Put cut eggplants into a small colander. Sprinkle lightly with salt and let them set for about 15 minutes. Better yet for an hour.
    If eggplants are very water-y squeeze them with your hands to get rid of the excess liquid. Then pat dry with a paper towel.
  • Heat up vegetable oil in a frying pan and fry eggplant in batches flipping them from time to time. For eggplant rounds it should take about 3-4 minutes per side, until golden brown.
  • For the perfect frying, like with everything, the oil has to be hot enough but not smoking.
  • The best way to test if it’s hot enough is to deep a small piece of an eggplant. If it starts to sizzle and float immediately oil is hot enough. If not, give it another try in a few minutes.
  • Place eggplants on a paper towel to absorb the extra oil.

Tomato Sauce

  • In a large skillet pan add a splash of extra virgin olive oil and garlic cloves crushed with the flat side of the knife. Remove the garlic once it’s lightly brown. Add tomato sauce.
  • Simmer it for a few minutes until it’s slightly reduced. Add fresh basil leaves and a pinch of salt to taste.
  • While tomato sauce is cooking boil pasta ‘al dente’ according to the directions on the package.
  • Drain pasta and reserve some cooking liquid.
  • Add pasta to a skillet pan with tomato sauce.
    If you cut some eggplants in cubes add those as well.
    Give it a quick toss. If pasta and sauce feel too dry add a splash of cooking liquid you reserved and some olive oil.

Serving Pasta

  • Classic Sicilian Pasta Alla Norma is served with a heap of fried eggplants on top of pasta. All generously topped with freshly grated salted ricotta cheese.

Notes

Salted Ricotta is an integral part of Pasta alla Norma, and if you have an opportunity, get it by all means. But just in case, the closest substitute for Ricotta Salata will be a mix of quality Pecorino & Feta Cheese.