Traditional Pasta Alla Norma recipe... from an Italian!
A symbol of Catania, a tribute to the work of the composer Bellini: the Pasta Alla Norma.
Today I chose this dish because, some time ago, I proposed a survey on the favourite pasta dish of the Foodtribe public. Obviously, Lasagna was the winner – and I agree entirely – but I was amazed to see Pasta alla Norma in the last place. Seriously? It can't be!
So today I went to my mother, and she (who is a better cook than me) prepared her version for me... and for you.
La Pasta Alla Norma
Pasta Alla Norma is one of the symbols of Sicilian cuisine, in particular in the city of Catania. This speciality was created in homage to the most beautiful work of the famous composer Vincenzo Bellini: the Norma.
It is a tasty pasta dish, vegetarian and prepared with simple and genuine ingredients, seasoned with fried tomato and eggplant (aubergine), fresh basil and a generous grating of salted ricotta.
La ricotta salata
We need some more information on the cheese... Dried ricotta, also called salted ricotta or seasoned ricotta (ricotta salata in Italian), is a variety of ricotta produced in southern Italy, and differs from fresh ricotta for being harder, with a more marked flavour and consistency.
Commercial dried ricotta is mainly produced with sheep's milk and is used instead of grated cheese such as Parmesan.
I don't know where you are reading from right now, and I realise that it could be hard to find this specific cheese in your country, but it is crucial: Pasta Alla Norma does not taste the same without it.
P.s. I'm sorry if I can't translate some technical terms or kitchen tool names well. I hope you still understand!