Grape Gourmet – Cucina Dello Zio

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Pasta alla Norma

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#PastaAllaNorma - salt and pepper to taste! Done!

Pasta alla Norma
Pasta Dedicated to Norma
by James Belardo

One of the most famous and popular dishes in Sicily, particularly near the city of Catania, is Pasta alla Norma. As with most of Italian dishes, Pasta alla Norna  starts with a legend. This dish dates back to the early 1800s and is named after the famous Sicilian opera composer Vincenzo Bellini’s wildly successful opera, Norma. The essential ingredients such as fried eggplants (preferably Sicilian), tomato sauce (made with fresh basil) and ricotta salata must be used. Our recipe uses these traditional ingredients and particular methods such as pre-frying the eggplant in olive oil to make the best possible tribute outside of Catania.

#PastaAllaNorma ingredients

1 large or 2 small Sicilian eggplants, cut into strips 1 1/2 x 2-inch strips
1/2 lb. pancetta (optional) – cut into small cubes
2-3 fresh ripe plum tomatoes, skinned and chopped.
1 can (28 oZ.) San Marzano plum tomatoes (hand crushed)
1 onion
2-3 cloves garlic
1 cup white wine
juice from 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
2-3 bay leaves
Extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup Pecorino Romano Cheese, grated
Salt and Pepper
Peperoncino Fiocchi (hot pepper flakes) (optional)
Ricotta Salata

Pasta (recommended)


1. In a skillet, sauté the eggplant in olive oil and set aside.
#PastaAllaNorma - first fry the Sicilian #Eggplant in #OliveOil and #GrapeseedOil, set aside

2. (optional) In 2 tbsp of olive oil, fry the cubed pancetta until crispy.
#PastaAllaNorma - cook #Pancetta in #OliveOil until crispy

3. In a dutch oven or medium/large sauce pot sauté the onions, garlic and the optional Peperoncino in olive oil.
#PastaAllaNorma - then the onions, Peperoncino flakes and #garlic

4. When the onions are translucent and the garlic begins to brown slightly add the fresh chopped plum tomatoes and cook for about 5-10 minutes or until the tomatoes break down.

5. Add the cup of white wine and let the sauce come to a simmer.
#PastaAllaNorma - 1 cup of #PinotGrigio #Wine #Vino

6. Add the hand-crushed tomatoes and the bay leaves, bring to a simmer and let cook for 10-15 minutes
#PastaAllaNorma - hand crush #SanMarzano #Tomatoes

7. Add the lemon juice
#PastaAllaNorma - freshly squeezed #Lemon juice

8. Add Pecorino Romano cheese and let cook for another 5-10 minutes
#PastaAllaNorma - #PecorinoRomano Cheeze

9. fold in the cooked eggplant, mix well and let cook for 5-10 minutes
#PastaAllaNorma - reintroduce the #Sicilian #Eggplant

10. Add the fresh basil, salt and pepper (to taste) and let simmer for about 10-20 minutes before serving
#PastaAllaNorma - fresh #Basil #Basilico

11. Top pasta with ricotta salata
#PastaAllaNorma - served with #Cusumano #NeroDAvola #Vino #Wine of course. :-)

A Blood Orange and Fennel Salad with olive oil and white balsamic dressing is the perfect compliment.


The Grape Gourmet
• health • wellness • culture • flavor •

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Written by Zio James

May 19, 2015 at 4:17 PM

2 Responses

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  1. […] Pasta alla Norma (Pasta with Eggplant) One of, if not the most famous pasta dishes to come out of Catania, Sicily is Pasta alla Norma! Here’s our take which was inspired by own trip to Sicily last year. We hope you enjoy Pasta alla Norma. […]

  2. […] things create something even more awesome! Using our Savory Ricotta mixture and mixing it with Pasta alla Norma sauce and then BAKING it, makes something truly out of this world. Try our Baked Rigatoni all Norma […]

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