Monday 1 August 2011

Pasta Alla Norma

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We tend to have pasta at least twice a week as it's quick and easy to make. Pasta Alla Norma, a classic Sicilian dish has a place in our pasta recipes collection as firstly, we love eating aubergines and even though it contains only a few ingredients, it still tastes good! That's what Italian food is all about isn't it? simple, fresh ingredients that packs a punch! I didn't have basil or ricotta at home so i just left them out. 

  • 2 large firm aubergines
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • optional: 1 dried red chilli, crumbled
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely sliced
  • a large bunch of fresh basil, stalks finely chopped, leaves reserved
  • 1 teaspoon good herb or white wine vinegar
  • 2 x 400g tins of good-quality chopped plum tomatoes, or 565ml/1 pint passata
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 455g/1lb dried spaghetti
  • 150g salted ricotta, pecorino or Parmesan cheese, grated


1. First of all, get your nice firm aubergines and cut them into quarters lengthways. If they've got seedy fluffy centres, remove them and chuck them away. Then cut the aubergines across the length, into finger-sized pieces. Get a large non-stick pan nice and hot and add a little oil. Fry the aubergines in two batches, adding a little extra oil if you need to (but you don't want to make it too greasy). Give the aubergines a toss so the oil coats every single piece and then sprinkle with some of the dried oregano - this will make them taste fantastic. Using a pair of tongs, turn the pieces of aubergine until golden on all sides. Once you've done the first batch, remove to a plate and do the same with the second batch.
2. When the aubergines are all cooked, add the first batch back to the pan - at this point I sometimes add a sneaky dried red chilli, but that's my addiction coming through so feel free to ignore this! Turn the heat down to medium and add a little oil, the garlic and the basil stalks. Stir so everything gets evenly cooked, then add a swig of herb vinegar and the tins of tomatoes, which you can chop or whiz up so they're not too chunky. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, then taste and correct the seasoning with salt and pepper. Tear up half the basil leaves, add to the sauce and toss around.
3. Get your spaghetti into a pan of salted boiling water and cook according to the packet instructions. When it's al dente, drain it in a colander, reserving a little of the cooking water, and put it back into the pan. Add the Norma sauce and a little of the reserved cooking water and toss together back on the heat. Taste the pasta and adjust the seasoning, then divide between your plates by twizzling the pasta into a ladle for each portion. Any sauce left in the pan can be spooned over the top. Sprinkle with the remaining basil leaves and the grated cheese and drizzle with olive oil.

Recipe taken from Jamie's Italy


  1. Just gorgeous looking and delicious. Pasta is by far my favorite meal. Love the sauce and the picture is great!

  2. Thanks for the compliments and hope you'll like it when you try it! :

  3. I have tried a variation of this dish and its awesome.

  4. Nice. I have to try this recipe someday . :)

  5. @Three cookies: it really tasted good!
    @lina: yes, try it soon and let me know if you like it.


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