Chef Gianluca Deiana Abis: Pasta Alla Norma/ Sicilian spaghetti alla Norma

Prep. time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Difficulty: 1 out of 5

Serve: 4


1 eggplant

3 cloves of garlic

½ a bunch of fresh basil

400 cherry tomatoes (

1 package (320 g) spaghetti

50 g salted ricotta cheese

extra virgin olive oil

sea salt qb

black pepper qb


Cut aubergine into little cubes. Place into a colander in the sink, sprinkle with sea salt to draw out the moisture, then set aside for around 20 minutes. Peel and finely slice the garlic, then pick the basil leaves and finely slice the stalks. Rinse aubergine and pat dry with kitchen paper, then place into a large bowl with the oregano, chilli flakes, a splash of olive oil and a pinch of sea salt and black pepper. Toss together well. Drizzle a splash of olive oil into a large frying pan over a medium heat. Once hot, add aubergine in a single layer, and fry for 5 to 8 minutes, or until softened and golden, stirring occasionally. Add little bit more of olive oil, followed by the garlic, capers and basil stalks, then cook for another 2-3 minutes, or until golden. Stir in the vinegar and cherry tomatoes. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer gently for 15 to 20 minutes, or until thick and glossy. Cook the spaghetti in a pan of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain the spaghetti, reserving a cupful of the cooking water, then add a good splash of the reserved water to the aubergine sauce. Finely grate salted ricotta cheese and add basil leaves. Add a lug of extra virgin olive oil, then season to taste. Add the spaghetti to the sauce and mix well. Serve!

Chef tips:

The scents and flavors of Sicily, a magical and magnetic land, sunny and beautiful from North to South and from West to East. This recipe is originally from the East, pasta alla Norma one of the symbols of the island cuisine, together with cannoli. This Catania specialty was created as a culinary tribute to the most beautiful work of the famous composer Vincenzo Bellini: the Norma. A tasty pasta dish topped with fresh tomato and a cascade of fried aubergines. But it would not be pasta alla Norma without the addition of fresh basil leaves and a generous grated salted ricotta added at the end of cooking: all the Mediterranean aromas combined in one dish!


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