Region: Sicily

How To Make Authentic Italian Pasta alla Norma

 

 

 

 

 

 

Serves 4

Preparation & cooking time 1hr 30min

 

For the strangujet pasta:

300g (10½oz) strong flour

50g (2oz) ‘semola’ fine ground durum wheat flour

150ml (5½fl oz) water

1 tbsp toasted pine nuts

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 pinch salt

basil leaves to decorate

saucepan of water to cook the pasta

 

For the sauce

1 large aubergine

1L (2pt) peanut oil (enough to completely cover the aubergine)

1 small white onion, chopped

300g (10½oz) of ‘pelati’ tomatoes (peeled; canned or from a jar is fine)

30g (1oz) extra virgin olive oil

100g (3½oz) baked ricotta

salt & pepper to taste

 

METHOD

1 Combine the two flours, then add the water and begin to knead until it becomes smooth and very compact. Leave to rest for 10 minutes.

2 Roll out the dough into long sausages about 2cm (1in) diameter. Then cut at 1cm (½in) intervals and press/dimple each cube with your thumb to form a rounded/squashed gnocchi shape.

3 Add the gnocchi to boiling water and cook until they float to the surface.

For the sauce

1 Cut the aubergine into 1½cm (¾in) cubes, salt them and leave to sweat for 20 minutes. Pat dry once they’ve released their ‘bitter water’.

2 Coat the aubergine in peanut oil and fry for 3 minutes.

3 In another pan, fry the finely chopped onion and tomato with the olive oil, a little water, salt and pepper.

4 Remove the oil from the aubergine with paper towel and add it to the tomato to cook for another 3 minutes.

5 When pasta is ready, drain well and add it to the pan to sauté/mix with the sauce for 3 minutes. Dress the dish with the pine nuts and ricotta and serve..

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