Pasta alla Norma (the original recipe Carpenter)

Pasta alla Norma, original recipe from Catania

Pasta alla Norma Carpenter. I've always wondered how it is possible that a plate of this simplicity, that home was eating at least twice a week ("what do we do today? Come on, a pasta alla Norma so we hurry” was the recurring phrase), both became so famous in the world and has been so successful. A success so large as to be become one of the symbols of Sicilian cuisine. At the bottom of, is nothing but pasta with tomato sauce and fried eggplant. Is’ true, though, that the rule in the hearts of us all his little Sicilian has.


For us it's not just pasta with sauce and eggplant, This is a dish that reflects the image of Sicily and its gastronomic tradition in the use of tomato, that has to be possibly the costoluto (or at least the San Marzano), Eggplant (better the Turk black round or round violetta maiden), garlic (obviously to rosso di Nubia, Slow Food). And then Sicilian extra virgin olive oil, a PDO Hyblaean mountains might be a good choice, and ricotta which must be the salt. Although in Messina using baked ricotta that I like very much, but purists would be appalled. As well as, at home we make a pasta alla Norma heretic they can't even nominate here, but take a look at it and peek through all my SICILIAN RECIPES.

The proceedings

And if you already on ingredients you fight not only between Catania, Messina and other provincial capitals, but also between countries, the procedure you might even end up in court. No to tomato sauce ready, never let it be: the tomato should be blanched in water for a few minutes, until you crumble slightly, then all peeled, cut into pieces and put to bake, slowly, up to shrink, only with extra virgin olive oil (but some people don't put it), Salt, Basil, Golden garlic and a touch of sugar to which we Sicilians never renounce.

The Eggplant should be sliced lengthways, and strictly made venting a little’ of salt, otherwise they soak too oil in frying. Is, Obviously, frying in oil, penalty hell. Yet, a couple of things: part of the eggplants should be put in the pasta, strictly hand-frayed, and part goes to flat gasket. And pasta? Here indeed we risk the lynching: I would arrest me on spaghetti. But there is a current of rigatoni that has its reasons. In short, I didn't say it was a very simple dish? I take it back…. Have a nice day!

PASTA WITH STANDARD (original recipe from Catania)

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  • 400 g spaghetti
  • 1,5 kilograms of ribbed tomatoes sauce (type Marmande of Marzamemi) or San Marzano
  • fresh basil, to taste
  • two Nubia red garlic cloves
  • Turkish Eggplant black type 2 or violetta maiden
  • extra virgin olive oil (Monti Iblei Dop)
  • ricotta salata, to taste
  • Salt, to taste
  • a coffee spoon, Satin, of sugar


Wash the eggplants, delete the ends and cut into slices approximately 1 cm thick lengthways. Put them in a colander, sprinkled with a little’ fine salt, and cover them by placing a weight on top: leave to rest for at least 2 hours, so they lose the vegetation water. After the interval of rest, blot the Eggplant slices with a clean cotton cloth and FRY until golden brown in olive oil. Tradition has it that some’ This oil is then uses to cook tomato sauce, But if you prefer you can simply use extra virgin olive oil.

For the tomato sauce: wash the tomatoes and Blanch them in boiling water for a few minutes. Peel tomatoes, cut into pieces, remove the seeds and store liquid of vegetation. FRY on low heat in a large saucepan the Nubia red garlic with olive oil, until it's lightly browned, Add the tomatoes and liquid of vegetation, Add salt and sugar. Cook, always low heat, until the tomato sauce won't be well reduced, then add some basil leaves broken by hand, remove the garlic and leave to rest.

Hand break two thirds of Eggplant and put the other aside for flat gasket.

Boil the pasta in salted water. Drain the pasta al dente (al dente), keeping cooking water. Spaghetti with tomato sauce, adding a little pasta water if needed, then add the aubergines into small pieces and mix.

Serve the pasta alla Norma garnished the dish with the slices of Eggplant (There are those who put some also at the base of the dish and then reclines over pasta), Sprinkle with plenty of grated salted ricotta (don't finely, You must feel good taste) and decorate with a Basil leaf. Serve immediately and enjoy your meal!

THE PAIRING: Etna rosato Doc by Tenuta delle Terre Nere. The company of Randazzo (in the province of Catania) produces this wine on the slopes of Mount Etna, between the towns of Taormina and Randazzo. Is’ a very versatile wine, that smells of Strawberry and cherry, and that with this recipe gives her best, muffling its flavor the sweetness of Eggplant and accompanying the pleasant acidity of tomato. A balanced wine and very pleasant on the palate. We suggest you, in particular, the year 2016.

Pasta alla Norma (the original recipe Carpenter)
Pasta alla Norma (the original recipe Carpenter)

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J.H. 6 October 2017 at 00:18

La traduccion al español no es correcta.
Debe ser Sicilianas … y no Sicilians.

Ada Parisi 6 October 2017 at 10:29

Hi, I’m sorry but this is an automatic translator, is quite good but not enough. I hope you can understand however. Cheers, ADA


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