Pasta Alla Norma

Pasta alla Norma is one of Sicily’s most loved pasta dishes. Originating in Catania, it is rumoured to have been named after Vincenzo Bellini’s well-loved opera ‘Norma’, due to its greatness!

January 2021 • Jules Verne

This pasta alla Norma recipe is a Sicilian classic, comprised of a rich tomato sauce studded with golden aubergine and topped with shavings of ricotta salata. Feel free to use a different type of short tubular pasta such as ragatoni if you can't get your hands on boccole.


Serves 4
Prep time: 35 mins

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Aubergine
  • Olive oil
  • 1 Garlic clove, minced
  • 400g of San Marzano tomatoes, (1 tin)
  • 400g of Boccole pasta
  • Basil, to garnish
  • Ricotta salata, to garnish

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. To begin, evenly dice the aubergine into 1–2cm cubes and sprinkle with salt. Leave in a colander for 10 minutes to draw out any excess moisture.
  2. Gently sauté the minced garlic in 1 tbsp of olive oil for about 30 seconds, or until just soft (do not allow the garlic to colour or it will impart a bitter flavour into the sauce).
  3. Add the tomatoes (if using whole tinned tomatoes, roughly chop them before adding).
  4. Simmer for 10–15 minutes until the sauce has thickened slightly. Stir intermittently to avoid any sticking.
  5. Meanwhile, rinse the salt from the aubergine and pat dry with kitchen paper. Shallow fry the aubergine in olive oil until golden (you may need to do this in batches).
  6. Once golden, drain on kitchen paper to remove any excess oil.
  7. Cook the pasta in a pan of heavily salted boiling water for 8–10 minutes, or as per packet instructions.
  8. Once the pasta is cooked al dente, drain and add to the tomato sauce. Add the aubergine and toss so the pasta is evenly coated in the sauce.
  9. Garnish with shavings of ricotta salata and torn basil leaves.

Credit: Great Italian Chefs