Hi my lovely friends. Today I’m happy to tell you about this traditional Sicilian dish: pasta alla Norma. During summer cooking classes, I often suggest it to my guests and it’s always a success. You can choose “maccheroni” or “pennette rigate”… or I wait for you in Italy, in my kitchen, for an authentic Italian experience with food, wine and smile.

Pasta alla Norma (for 4) 

2 aubergines
3 cloves of garlic
½ a bunch of fresh basil
1 x 400 g tin of plum tomatoes
320 g dried wholewheat pasta (maccheroni or pennette rigate)
50 g seasoned ricotta
extra virgin olive oil

Chop the aubergines into rough 2cm chunks. Place into a colander in the sink, sprinkle with sea salt to draw out the moisture, then set aside for around 20 minutes. Peel the garlic and pick the basil leaves. Rinse the aubergine and pat dry with kitchen paper, then deep fry in a pan with hot olive oil until golden. Dry with a kitchen paper. In a large pan over a medium heat add another a splash of olive oil, followed by the garlic and basil stalks, then cook for a further 2 minutes, or until golden. Add tomatoes and cook (without garlic and basil) for 20 minutes, until thick. Add aubergines. Cook the pasta in a pot of boiling salted water for 10 minutes or until al dente. Drain reserving a cupful of the cooking water. Add a good splash of the reserved water to the aubergine sauce. Finely grate ricotta, add basil and a lug of extra virgin olive oil, then season to taste. Add the pasta to the sauce and toss well.