Flavors of the world: pasta alla Norma


One of the most popular dishes of Sicily is the pasta alla Norma. This dish that I ate several times in different pasta variants is named in honor of Vincenzo Bellini and that is why it is named after one of his most famous operas: Rule.

I am not passionate about opera, but one of my best friends, Jaume Radigales, is an expert and professional critic. In fact, it was he who took me for the first time to see a play at the Gran Teatre del Liceu. It was a magical moment, since even if you don't like that genre, seeing a performance is an overwhelming experience, and even more in the hands of a luxury cicerone as it was in my case.

Well, just a few days before flying to Sicily, he was represented at the Liceu the opera Cavalleria Rusticana from Mascagni and Pagliacci from Leoncavallo It operates, where the action takes place in Sicily and Calabria respectively, with passionate loves and tragic endings as an argument. Jaume invited us to see the opera in the radio box while he was broadcasting live on Catalunya Music. So this dish is dedicated to him (and yes, I promise to invite you home to try it ^^).

Although it may seem strange, to prepare this dish I used the recipe of Jamie Oliver, famous British chef, who made a cooking show and then a recipe book, about Italian food while touring the country on a Vespa.

Ingredients for 4 people:
450 g of pasta (you can use the one you like best)
2 large eggplants
800 g crushed tomato
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 handful of fresh basil (I used the dried one)
4 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 dried red chili pepper (optional)
grated Parmesan cheese
olive oil

1. We cut the eggplants into strips of a finger wide or, as in my case, cubes, because in Sicily I remember being served like this (sorry Jamie). Brown the eggplant dice everywhere. Then we remove them and add the dried oregano.