Pasta alla Norma

pasta alla Norma

It’s about time to blog another pasta recipe, methinks. I have made this particular one several times before, therefore it’s well tried and tested. Its main ingredients are aubergines, tomatoes and salted ricotta. As I was in Italy at the end of September  on a quick visit (during which I met Candi! And what a great time we had, didn’t we?… Having lunch al fresco in a small trattoria by the river Adda, with 29 degrees and the sun shining…That’s the life!) I was able to buy this cheese – amongst MANY other things all of an edible nature!- and bring it back to the UK. But don’t worry English people. You don’t have to go on a trip to Italy to buy the ricotta just to produce this dish…..albeit it would be nice! You can substitute it with pecorino, which you can easily find in many supermarkets ! Anyway… the recipe is Italian (no idea who Norma is, though…) but ironically comes out of one of my many British cookery books,  Jamie Oliver’s to be precise  ( slightly amended). Everybody in England will be familiar with this “simpatico” chef! He toured Italy a few years back, did a TV programme about it and then proceeded to produce a book full of traditional recipes from the many Italian regions  (called, surprise surprise, Jamie’s Italy…). Off we go then…


1 large, firm aubergine

extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tablespoon dried oregano

2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely sliced

small bunch of fresh basil

1  tin of chopped plum tomatoes (400 gr.)

salt and pepper (I use one vegetable cube instead)

200/250 gr. pasta

75 gr. salted ricotta (or pecorino), grated


Cut the aubergine into finger sized pieces. Heat some olive oil in a large frying pan and fry the aubergine pieces until golden on all sides. Sprinkle with the oregano. Add the garlic and the tomatoes. Season (or add the vegetable stock)and simmer gently for approx. 10-15 minutes. I always add a pinch of sugar too.

When the pasta is cooked dress it with the sauce, drizzle with some olive oil, add the grated cheese and the basil on the  top and serve.

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4 Responses to “Pasta alla Norma”

  • Lucina, mia cara, mi sento di prepotenza chiamata in causa. Il piatto alla Norma e’ il capisaldo della cucina catanese (nota bene, non siciliana in generale).
    Ebbene il nome Norma deriva dall’ opera omonima del grande musicista Vincenzo Bellini, soprannominato il cigno di Catania. Un eccelso maestro per un piatto sublime.
    Complimenti per la ricetta, sono ritornata indietro nel tempo……..
    Ps Catania mi manchi!

  • errata corrige : caposaldo!
    maledetta tastiera. :-)

  • Eh eh aspettavo al varco Carmelita e sapevo che sarebbe arrivata prima di me, ma comunque sono andata in un sito di Catania che spiega bene la cosa. Sembra che la prima grande interprete della Norma sia stata una grande cantante di nome GIUDITTA PASTA! Comunque adesso è d’uopo godersi Maria Callas che canta Casta Diva mentre cuciniamo… E’ davvero bellissima. Lode a Catania (per il Maestro e per il piatto) !

  • WOW! Always ready to learn something new! Thanks for the info girls. Most interesting! :-)

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