Pasta alla norma recipe, an easy recipe with a Sicilian flavor.
Today we are cooking with her majesty, the eggplant, the main ingredient of our recipe.
A poor vegetable by definition used as a base for the everyday cooking of common people.
For a long time it was thought to be the cause of diseases, even psychological ones.
It was said to cause bad moods.
In the western diet it seems that its edibility was accepted only in the1500’s when Carmelite fathers ate it “without any curse”.
Once this superstition was removed, the consumption of this vegetable is daily, from appetizers to main courses and even desserts.
But back to us with our recipe for pasta alla norma.
Norm is characteristic of the city of Catania, a first course dedicated to the great musician from Catania, Vincenzo Bellini and his most famous opera “La Norma”.
According to the legend, this dish was born thanks to a company of Melomani (people who love music) who, at the exit of the theater, found the trattoria already closed so they were served an improvised pasta dish made of eggplants, tomato, basil and a handful of salted ricotta cheese.
One of the diners liked it so much to exclaim “it’s a norm” in homage to Bellini’s opera.
And that’s where this fantastic recipe gets its name.
Today we are not going to make the traditional Sicilian recipe, where the eggplants are fried separately, but rather a “lighter” version, but still very good, in fact it has only 430 kcal (per portion) compared to the 613 kcal of the original recipe.
In my opinion, this dish can also be eaten by vegetarians and by removing the salty ricotta cheese it is also suitable for vegans.
But now enough talking and let’s start cooking.
Pasta Alla Norma Recipe: A Lighter Version
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- 2 Large purple eggplants
- 1 Garlic clove
- 1 Golden Onion
- 500g Of cherry tomatoes
- 80g Salted Ricotta Cheese
- A handful of basil leaves
- 300g pasta
- Salt to taste
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Chilli pepper (optional)
- To begin with the recipe, wash, dry and peel the eggplants and then cut them into cubes.
- In a pan pour the extra virgin olive oil and add the garlic and the onion, previously finely chopped.
- When they are golden brown, add the eggplant and let it wilt over low heat, then add the basil leaves, peeled tomato, salt and, if you like, a pinch of chopped chilli pepper. Cover with a lid and cook for about 15-20 minutes over low heat, stirring occasionally low heat, stirring occasionally.
- In the meantime, take a pot of water and bring it to a boil. Do not forget to salt the water, pour in the rigatoni and let it cook for the time stated on its package, then drain it and add it to our sauce.
- Transfer the pasta to the plates and sprinkle with the salted ricotta.
- For a touch of originality, add a few basil leaves to the plate just before serving the dish to your guests.