Pasta Alla Norma

Pasta Alla Norma

© Shutterstock

Pasta Alla Norma

Pasta Alla Norma

© Shutterstock

For the passata

Ingredients (Serves 4)

2
kg
tomatoes, halved, seeds removed
pinch
salt
  • Put the tomatoes in a large saucepan and cook over a low heat for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until beginning to thicken.
  • Add salt and mix well.
  • Strain the tomatoes through a sieve and the passata is ready to use.

For the pasta

Ingredients (Serves 4)

600
g
aubergines, cut into 1-2 cm cubes
5
tablespoon
olive oil
2
clove
garlic, thinly sliced
500
g
tomato passata (see above)
pinch
salt
pinch
black pepper
a few basil leaves
320
g
paccheri pasta
40
g
ricotta salata, grated (or grated cheese of choice)
  • Fry the aubergines in a dry (no oil) non-stick pan for 2–3 minutes until they change colour.
  • Add 1 tbsp olive oil and continue to fry for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the aubergines are buttery soft.
  • Briefly fry the sliced garlic in the remaining 4 tbsp olive oil in a saucepan.
  • Add the tomato passata, season with salt and pepper and continue to cook over a medium heat for 10 minutes. Stir half of the basil leaves into the sauce.
  • Cook the paccheri in a large pan of salted water until al dente. Drain and add to the tomato sauce. Mix well.
  • Divide the pasta between plates and sprinkle with the ricotta, the fried aubergine and the remaining basil leaves.

 

Tip from Gualtiero Marchesi

Do not fry aubergines in oil or butter. They are like sponges and absorb the fat quickly. Always fry aubergine slices or cubes first without other ingredients in a pan for 2-3 minutes until they change colour slightly and a protective layer has been formed. Then you can add some olive oil to the pan.


Norma is not a city, as you might think. Norma means 'norm', so it is a pasta according to the norm, or standard. There are various stories about how it came about, usually involving a well-known person who has been invited to dinner. When she tastes the pasta, she calls out delightedly to the cook: "Signora, that's exactly how it should be! This is pasta according to the standard!"


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