Pasta alla norma

Pasta alla Norma is a traditional recipe from Sicily, it takes its name from the Bellini masterpiece Norma 🙂 I am not surprised that such a lovely recipe has been compared to the perfection of this opera!

Ingredients:

  • Pasta (rigatoni, sedani, mezze maniche, penne) 300g
  • Aubergine, 500g
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic, 1 clove
  • Salted ricotta to grate
  • Basil leaves
  • Vine tomatoes 800g

Recipe:

  1. Wash and chop the tomatoes
  2. Peel and cut the garlic
  3. Warm some oil in a pan and add the garlic
  4. When the garlic starts to bubble, add the tomatoes and let everything cook at very very low temperature for 30 minutes
  5. In the meantime, cut the aubergines in slices, put them in a colander and layer them covered in sea salt
  6. Put a pan with water on top of the aubergines so they release their bitter juice and leave them in the colander for at least half an hour
  7. When the tomatoes are cooked, blend everything together
  8. Put the sauce again in a pan and let it cook for 15 minutes until the sauce is more thick
  9. Add salt and pepper as you like
  10. Rinse the aubergines and dry them well with a towel
  11. Put some oil in a pan and fry the aubergines until golden
  12. Once they are fried, put them in a dish covered with kitchen towel to absorb the oil
  13. Cook the pasta
  14. When the pasta is done, mix it with the tomato sauce and add the aubergines slices on top of it
  15. Grate some salted ricotta and put it on top of the pasta
  16. Add the basil leaves

Enjoy!

Pasta alla norma

This is one of my favourite recipes, I love aubergines and they are meant to be with salted ricotta, they are the perfect combination!

Ingredients:

  • Chopped tomatoes, one tin
  • Garlic, one clove
  • Olive oil
  • Rapeseed oil
  • Aubergine, 250 g
  • Salt crystals
  • Pasta rigatoni, 320g

Recipe:

  1. Peel and cut the garlic finely
  2. Warm some oil in a pan and add the garlic
  3. Add the tomatoes and let everything cook for 20 minutes
  4. In the meantime, cut the aubergines in slices of about 3 mm
  5. Leave the slices in a colander, add some salt crystals on every layer and on the last layer add also a pan with water, so that the aubergines lose their bitter water
  6. Leave the aubergines for 40-60 minutes
  7. After this time, add some rapeseed oil in a pan and warm it
  8. Fry the aubergines until they have a lovely golden colour
  9. Cook the pasta
  10. When the pasta is cooked, add the tomatoes and the aubergines
  11. Grate some salted ricotta on top of the pasta

Enjoy!!

Cannoli

Cannoli are the most popular dessert in Sicily.

They have an unmistakable shape and an inimitable taste! It takes a lot of time and patience, but it is all worth it!

Instruments you need:

  • Cling film
  • Stainless steel cannoli tubes
  • A disk/mug/lid of about 10 cm diameter
  • Roll
  • Pan to use for frying
  • Electric whisk
  • 2 bowls
  • One big sieve
  • One small sieve
  • Pipe\sac a poche

Ingredients for the shell:

  • Orange zest, one orange
  • Flour 250 g
  • Sugar 30 g
  • Egg, 1
  • Egg yolk, 1
  • Marsala 60 ml
  • White wine vinegar 10 ml
  • Salt one pinch
  • Cinnamon 4 g
  • Rapeseed oil
  • Lard 30 g or butter 50g

Ingredients for the cream:

  • Ricotta 700 g – the night before you make cannoli, leave the ricotta in a siege placed on top of a bowl. Stir the ricotta from time to time
  • Icing sugar, 350g
  • Vanilla paste, 7g

To decorate:

  • Pistachio flakes or cinnamon or chocolate chips
  • Icing sugar

Recipe:

  1. Mix together the flour, sugar, orange zest, cinnamon, egg, marsala, vinegar, salt, lard or butter
  2. Keep mixing the ingredients until you get a firm but wet mixture – don’t worry if at the beginning it looks very dry and it takes ages to get a nice homogeneous texture
  3. Make a ball of the mixture and cover it in cling film. Leave it this way for at least 3 hours and no more than 12 hours
  4. After these hours, flat the mixture until you get a thickness of 2-3 mm
  5. Using your disc, cut the discs you are going to fry
  6. Put a tube in the middle of the disc, and let the edges of the disc to “hug” each other
  7. Seal the edges together with yolk and putting some pressure
  8. Cover your discs
  9. Put the oil in a pan and heat it (180°)
  10. When the oil is hot put your tube and leave it until golden
  11. Be Careful when you take the tube out, the tube is empty inside and it might have oil inside it when you take the cannolo out
  12. Make the cream: mix the drained ricotta with the sugar and the vanilla paste until you have a firm fluffy cream
  13. When the shells are cold, put the ricotta inside of it using a pipe
  14. Spread some icing sugar with the small sieve
  15. Decorate as you like!

Tip: the shell with no cream can be used within 4 days. The shell with the cream should be eaten within a few hours before the shell becomes soggy