Alla Norma ReinventatoRecipes
Alla norma is a traditional pasta dish from the east coast of Sicily.
It is made with tender, juicy chunks of golden fried aubergine, sweet Sicilian tomato sauce and velvety salty Ricotta Salata cheese. The dish was famously created in Catania playing tribute to the Opera “Norma” by Vincenzo Bellini. We love the flavour combination of this dish and when at home with our friends and family we create our reimagined version. With all the flavours of the classic dish combined but serving as Stuzzichini to go alongside our Aperitivo this is a perfect, impressive appetizer which can be made days before and much lighter to eat during the hotter months of summer.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius and whilst heating up, cut the aubergine into 1cm cubes. Place the aubergine onto a baking tray and cover with 10 tbsp of sunflower oil and rub together well. It may seem like a lot of oil but the aubergine needs it!
Place the aubergine in the preheated oven and cook for 20-30 minutes until golden and tender. Remove from the oven and season with 1tsp of table salt.
Whilst the aubergine is cooking, prepare the rest of the ingredients. Finely dice the sun dried tomatoes and place in a mixing bowl. Tip* if easier you can use a mini food processor.
Finely chop the basil and mix into the capuliatu (minced sundried tomatoes). Grate the ricotta salata or pecorino cheese and mix into the other ingredients loosening the mix with 4 tbsp of a good quality Sicilian extra virgin olive oil.
Once the aubergine is cooked and seasoned, cool for 5 minutes before adding into the bowl with the other ingredients and mix well together.
Place on a serving platter and serve with lingue flatbread or crostini and enjoy!
*Tip it tastes better the next day, so keep it in the fridge and take out a few hours before serving to your guests!