Pasta Alla Norma

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Pasta Alla Norma
Take your tastebuds to Sicily with my recreation of Pasta alla Norma - aptly named after an opera and sure make your stomach sing! This tomato based pasta combines the perfect balance of salty cheese and delicious eggplant to create an envious vegetarian explosion of flavours.

Watch video recipe:

300g Casarecce Pasta
Handful of fresh basil
400g peeled tomatoes
1 garlic clove
1 x eggplant (large)
Ricotta salata
Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
Vegetable oil (for frying)
Salt + Pepper
5L water

2 medium sized deep fry pan
Wooden spoon
Large pot for boiling pasta
Pasta strainer

1. Heat up vegetable oil in a deep fry pan.
2. Cut the eggplant into strips that are around 1cm in width.
3. Fry the eggplant strips until they start to brown, then remove them from the oil and place them on kitchen paper so the oil absorbs on it.
4. Heat up EVOO in a deep pan on a low heat in preparation for cooking your sauce.
5. Add garlic and sauté for a couple of minutes.

Vincenzo's tip: Make sure the garlic doesn't burn! If it starts to brown add a few drops of water.

6. Add 400g Italian peeled tomatoes to a bowl, sprinkle salt over the top then break them down using a potato masher.
7. Add dried oregano, pepper, fresh basil leaves, mix together and add to the pan.
8. Stir it gently using a wooden spoon and simmer on a low heat.
9. Add 3/4 of your eggplant strips and leave to simmer for around 40 minutes.
10. Once it is almost ready, grate a handful of ricotta salata into the sauce and leave it to melt.
11. Boil water in a large pot, add a small handful of rock salt and let it dissolve.
12. Add the pasta to the pot and cook according to the packet instructions (I strongly recommend using Pasta Casarecce as it's the closest you will find to Maccheroncini).
13. Once the pasta is cooked, strain it and add it to the sauce.
14. Later the sauce over the top of the pasta using a wooden spoon.

How to serve:
1. Serve a portion of the pasta alla norma in the centre of a coloured plate.
2. Grate some ricotta salata on top and finish with a few pieces of eggplant on top along with some fresh basil leaves

E ora si mangia, Vincenzo's Plate...Enjoy!

Other Sicilian Recipes: