Pasta alla Norma is a well know Sicilian cuisine dish. If only because the name that binds to the masterpiece of Vincenzo Bellini. They say that the name is due to the exclamation of the playwright Nino Martoglio guest in Musco – Pandolfini house (Angelo Musco was a famous catanese comedian), that, tasting it, complimented the cook saying, “Madam, this is a Norma.” To say that the pasta was perfect as the work of Bellini. If this is the true origin, I can not guarantee it.
Ingredients for 4 people
350 g of pasta (bucatini or spaghetti, rigatoni, penne, reginette, tortiglioni)
1 kg of purple eggplants
1 kg of perfectly ripe red tomatoes (or tomato puree)
100 g of grated salted ricotta
1/2 white onion
10 basil leaves
2 sprigs whole basil
1 clove garlic
extra virgin olive oil
black pepper from reel or mortar
Peel the eggplants, cut them to the length in 1 cm slices and put them to bleed, for half an hour, in a colander after being well sprinkled with coarse salt.
Wash and dry them well and fry in olive oil.
When they are golden brown on both sides, place them to drain in the colander and then to dry on a fried paper sheet to remove excess oil: do not overlook this, otherwise the eggplant will be greasy.
Clean and wash the red tomatoes, then squeeze them with your hands directly into the pot. Salt, add a clove of whole garlic, the half onion coarsely chopped and a sprig of basil, then cook over moderate heat partially covered, without adding water. After 20 minutes, drain the tomatoes and pass them to the mill.
Adjust the puree with salt, add a little oil, a little black pepper, the other sprig of basil and simmer for 5 minutes on low heat. When cooked, remove the sprig basil, salt if needed and add a teaspoon sugar only if the puree is a little acid. Meanwhile have boiled the pasta, pour it into the serving bowl and sprinkle with 4 tablespoons of salted ricotta grated.
Stir, add the tomato sauce and stir again. Arrange on the surface some other spoon of the sauce, the fried eggplants and plentiful grated ricotta. Over all, the basil leaves chopped with your fingers.
At the table, will be available other eggplants and other salted ricotta.