Pasta Alla Norma

A few days back, when I came across this recipe on blog, I was keen to prepare it as my girl loves the combo of pasta and eggplant. So I prepared it a day before but tweaked the dish according to our taste. It was so good and just polished off in minutesπŸ˜€. Thanks Jayeeta.

About the dish (courtesy : Wikipedia)

A tasty and colourful recipe from the Sicilian gastronomic tradition, the Pasta Alla Norma is a triumph of Mediterranean flavours and was so called in honour of Vincenzo Bellini’s opera “Norma”. The story says that in 19th century, Nino Martoglio, a Sicilian writer, poet and theater director was so impressed when he first tasted this dish that compared it to “Norma”, Bellini’s masterpiece. And the name lasted ever since.

It’s not entirely clear how the dish got its name, one thing is for sure though ; it uses simple and typical ingredients of Sicilian cooking and makes into something truly delicious.

This dish is so simple ; Pasta — often penne or sometimes spaghetti — with tomato sauce ; silken nuggets of fried eggplant ; aromatic basil ; and salted ricotta. It’s an incredibly delicious with great flavours.

It makes for a satisfying vegetarian dinner and it can be thrown together under an hour.

Category : Main course

Cuisine : Sicilian dish

Yields : 2 servings

Ingredients :

  • 1/2 cup dried penne
  • 1 cup thickly sliced eggplants
  • 4 tomatoes, chopped finely
  • 1 onion, chopped finely
  • 3 garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp paprika or chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp grated ricotta salata or feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated processed cheese
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil or 7 to 8 fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 tsp crushed black pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (for frying eggplant)
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup water or little more
  • Few parsley for garnishing
  • Salt

Method :

1. Heat olive oil and fry eggplant slices until tender. Keep aside.

2. Cook penne pasta in a pot of boiling salt water, then drain the water, keep aside.

3. Heat up oil in another saucepan, gently saute the garlic and chopped onion until tender, then add finely chopped tomatoes, enough salt and sugar.

4. Cook the tomatoes until mushy….then add pepper, oregano, dried basil, processed cheese….mix well and add water. Cook well to a sauce like consistency…then add fried eggplant slices and grated feta cheese.

5. Gently toss the mixture and stir in drained penne.

6. Combine the ingredients together well in the sauce, so that the pasta and the sauce are well amalgamated. Switch off and Sprinkle parsley.

7. Serve hot with Sriracha sauce (my choice) or any spicy sauce and Cheesy Garlic Bread .

You might also like….

Macroni Pasta in Spicy Arrabiata Sauce

Pasta Pizza Casserole

Cheesy Garlic Bread

Garlic Focaccia

Domino’s Style Cheesy Garlic Bread

Creamy White Sauce Pasta on my blog.

Notes :

Before sauteing eggplant slices just sprinkle some salt so that the excess liquid contained in the eggplant slices will be removed and they will be taste sweeter and crunchier after cooking.

Be careful not to over cook the pasta.

If you feel the cooked tomato mixture is dry, add little water.

Substitute ricotta salata with feta cheese or any cheese of your choice.

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