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Pasta alla Norma – A classic of the Sicilian cooking

One of the most loved first courses of the Sicilian cooking, according to tradition the pasta alla Norma is named after the lyric poem “Norma” by the Catania composer Vincenzo Bellini. Once the poet Nino Martoglio, he was from Catania as well, tried the dish, he was left so pleasantly surprised by its delicious taste he exclaimed “Chista è ‘na vera Norma” which means “This is a true Norma”, attributing the beauty of Bellini’s poem to the dish.

A recipe with classic Mediterranean ingredients, this first course is made with pasta, usually maccheroni or some other short pasta,  and mixed with tomato sauce, fried eggplants, salted ricotta and basil leaves. It’s a dish that includes both summer and Sicily‘s flavors and like all traditional recipes the pasta alla Norma is open to many interpretations, but the ingredients are always simple and of high quality.

Here follow the recipe’s steps:

First of all, make the sauce, preferably with peeled tomatoes by searing them with a garlic clove; remove the garlic then process the tomatoes into sauce with a vegetable mill.

Cut the eggplants into cubes, or strips like in some variations of the recipe, and fry them; mix the pasta with the sauce then add the eggplants on top after you plated up the pasta, so they remain crisply and don’t split apart.

Finally, add the fresh basil leaves and grated salted ricotta on top of the pasta.

You are now ready to enjoy this delicious recipe!


Eager to try come of the Sicilian cooking’s delicacies? Take a look at out food tour in Moto Ape.

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