Pasta alla norma (Original sicilian recipe)
Published on Oct 1, 2013
Original sicilian recipe. Hello everybody and welcome back to Cucinaconoi, today I'll cook for you some pasta alla norma, a typical Sicilian dish appreciated all over Italy. The ingredients we need for 4 portions are: 600 grams of eggplant, one kilo of ripe tomatoes, a bunch of basil, 2 cloves of garlic, 80 grams of salted ricotta, 4 spoons of extra virgin olive oil, some extra oil to fry the eggplants, and 360 grams of pasta: in this case I've chosen the Busiata, a typical size from Trapani, but you can use other sizes, such as Rigatoni, Penne rigate or spaghetti. The first thing to do is to prepare the eggplants, so, after having cleaned them, we cut them in slices of about 7-8 millimeters thick. Then we dispose them on a strainer, we add a little of salt and we let them rest for about 40 minutes, to make them eliminate the vegetation water. Let's cover with a plate and put also a weight on it. Meanwhile we can start preparing the tomatoes, so we make a slight cross incision on them and we pour into a saucepan with boiling water, preparing also a basin with water and ice. We let them there for 3-4 seconds and then we drain. Once they get cool we peel them and we cut them in little cubes. At this time we go and prepare the tomato sauce; so we pour the extra virgin olive oil in a pan we let the slightly pressed garlic brown and we add some leafs of basil to flavor better. The we add the tomato puree / We add a bit of salt and we let cook for 25-30 minutes at medium heat. If during the cooking the tomato gets too dry, we can add a little spoon of hot water. Once the eggplants have eliminated their vegetation water, we dispose them in a blotting paper and we dry them well. Then we cut the middle of them in chunks or in little cubes, if you prefer. Let's remember to keep apart the best slices. We dry well also the chunks of eggplant and we fry them in abundant boiling oil, better if it is the extra virgin one. Once they get brown we drain them, we put them in a fry dripping tray and then we dry with blotting paper. We fry the same way also the eggplant slices. Once they are brown we drain them. When everything's ready we can start cooking the pasta, so we add some salt to the water and we pour it into the saucepan. When there are 3 minutes missed before our pasta is ready we take the garlic off the sauce and we put it on the stove again. Then we save two spoons of it, that we will use to complete our dish and we add the half of the chunked eggplants, letting them flavoring for about a minute. At this time we drain the pasta al dente, we pan-fry and we add the rest of the chunked eggplants with the chopped basil leafs, letting all flavor on a high gas. Now we add part of the grated salted ricotta, saving a part of it to decorate. Then we turn off the stove and serve. We garnish our dish with 2-3 slices of eggplant. We add a bit of sauce, that we will have kept warm, a sprinkle of ricotta and a leaf of basil. Bye from Sonia, thank you for paying attention and see you to the next recipe.