Sicilian Rigatoni alla Norma (Sicilian Aubergine Pasta)
If you ask me, my favourite pasta.
Fried aubergines, rich tomato sauce, grated salted ricotta.
If you can think of anything better, please let's talk about it.
A few tips to make it extra good:
As much as I try to avoid deep frying, for some dishes it's really worth it. This is one of them. Fry the eggplants! Of course, I won't stop you if you really want to grill them, but frying will make a huge difference.
If this is available to you, grate some "ricotta salata" on top. This is a kind of ricotta cheese from Sicily that is covered in salt and left to dry for several days until it becomes hard and can be grated. It won't melt and it's very salty. It's what traditionally is used in this dish, but if you can't find this, replace with any kind of sharp, salty cheese like pecorino or even mature cheddar.
Ingredients (for 2)
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
400g tomato polpa, or chopped tomatoes
1 clove garlic
A few leaves basil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 aubergine, sliced or cubed.
Oil for frying the aubergines
Ricotta salata, grated
Heat the olive oil in a pan and add the garlic. You can leave the garlic whole to flavour the oil and then discard it, but I prefer to mince it finely.
Add the tomato polpa with half cup of water, season with salt and pepper, fresh basil, and cook on medium low flame for about 20 minutes or until the oil separates.
In the meantime, bring a large pot of water to boil and add salt, then the pasta. Cook to al dente (usually 1-2 minutes less than the time indicated on the package), drain and top with tomato sauce, fried eggplants and grated ricotta salata.
Word of the Day
(aubergine, eggplant, pronounced me·lan·ẓà·na)