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What is Norma sauce? - the taste of Summer

Norma sauce is used to prepare a dish made of pasta, usually macaroni (or rigatoni or penne), topped with tomato and with the subsequent addition of fried aubergines, ricotta salata cheese and fresh basil. Pasta alla Norma is an original recipe from the city of Catania (Sicily), a tribute to Norma Opera, by Vincenzo Bellini. It is a vegetarian friendly recipe.

INGREDIENTS (for 4 servings)

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1 garlic cloves cup in half 2 medium eggplants 1 28-ounce can Italian plum tomatoes squeezed by hand. 2 sprigs basil 1 cup ricotta salata grated cheese salt to taste

1 cup coarse salt to sweat eggplants

PREPARATION First prepare a tomato sauce with peeled tomatoes. Briefly, cook them in a pan with oil and garlic for about 10 minutes. When cooked, add salt and basil. Cut the eggplants into slices about 1/2 inch and cover with the coarse salt for about an hour to remove the liquids and the bitter taste. Rinse them, dry them and fry them in hot extra virgin olive oil. Dry them from oil on absorbent paper and cut into strips. Meanwhile cook some macaroni al dente and, once drained, season with the sauce. Complete the dish with the fried eggplants on top, a generous sprinkling of grated salted ricotta and fresh basil.

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