Sicily: Pasta alla Norma

Serves 6

500 gr Sedani Rigati
150 gr Sheep Ricotta
1.5 kg tomato
4 cloves of garlic
1 Purple Eggplant
Extra virgin olive oil
Sicily: Pasta alla Norma

Sicily: Pasta alla Norma. Wash and dry the aubergine, cut it into slices of about 8 millimetres and place it in a colander sprinkled with salt. Leave to drain for at least 15 minutes. Wash the tomatoes and cut them in half, place them in a pan with a pinch of salt, 3 cloves of garlic and the basil. After about 30 minutes of cooking over a gentle heat, remove the garlic and basil. Pass the tomatoes through a very fine-meshed masher and continue cooking for another 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Rinse the aubergines well and place them in a high-sided pan with extra virgin olive oil when it reaches a temperature of about 170 degrees. It will take a few minutes for the fried aubergines to turn golden brown. When the aubergines are cooked, add a spoonful of the frying oil into the tomato sauce, which will have finished cooking. Cook the pasta in plenty of salted water, drain it al dente and pour it into the sauce pan. Quickly toss the pasta to season. Pour the pasta onto the plates, add the fried aubergines, a generous grating of salted sheep’s milk ricotta and garnish with a basil leaf. The recipe is attributed to the city of Catania, so much so that it is the signature dish of Catania cuisine, and the origin of the dedication to Norma seems to be an explicit reference to Vincenzo Bellini’s opera of the same name. The dish is so deeply rooted in Sicilian tradition that every year on 23 September, the national day of Pasta alla Norma is celebrated in Catania. The ideal pairing with a Sicilian wine is Nero d’Avola rosé.