Emilia Strazzanti’s Pasta alla Norma
Strazzanti.co is a brilliant Sicilian bakery and food experience specialist based in London. Set up by 3 sisters of Sicilian origin, chef Emilia shares her Pasta alla Norma recipe, just like her nonna made it.
Makes 2 portions
250g Pasta Casarecce
1 Whole Aubergine cubed
1 Garlic Clove lightly crushed Bunch fresh Basil roughly chopped 300 – 400g Tinned Tomatoes
50g Ricotta Salata grated
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (we suggest the organic Primo from Frantoi Cutrera)
1) In a large frying pan, gently heat up around 2cm of oil. In the meantime, wash your aubergine and cube into 1cm pieces. Once the oil is hot add in your aubergine and cook until golden brown, season with salt and a touch of sugar.
2) Once cooked remove a third of the aubergine and place to the side. At this point you can remove some of the excess oil but keep enough inside for step 3.
3) With the remaining aubergine inside your pan add in the lightly crushed garlic clove and roughly chopped basil and cook for 3-5 minutes until the garlic starts to turn a light golden brown.
4) Once golden, add in your chopped tomatoes and season with a touch of salt, not too much as you have already seasoned the aubergine. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat right down to a gentle simmer, cook for 15-20 minutes. You can place a loose lid on at this stage if you prefer a more liquid sauce.
5) Whilst your sauce is cooking, boil your water for the pasta and salt well.
6) Once the sauce is cooked after 15-20 minutes (if it becomes a little dry add a few tablespoons of pasta water).
7) At the same time cook the pasta for 3-5 minutes, remember fresh pasta takes less time to cook.
8) Add your cooked pasta to your sauce and mix well with the heat on low, then turn off your heat and add a generous pour of extra virgin olive oil and stir through.
9) Plate up your pasta and serve with the extra aubergine that was placed to the side earlier and add an extra grating of Ricotta Salata cheese.