A tasty triumph of Mediterranean flavors and colorful recipe from the Sicilian gastronomic tradition, synonymous of Summer. The traditional ingredients are Eggplant, Basil, Cherry tomatoes and Ricotta Salata cheese. To make the oven version we substituted "Ricotta Salata" with Mozzarella to obtain a great "melted mozzarella effect". Pasta alla Norma was so called in honor of Vincenzo Bellini's opera "Norma". The story tells that in 19th century, Nino Martoglio, a Sicilian writer, poet and theater director, when he first tasted this dish, was so impressed, that he compared it to “Norma” Bellini’s masterpiece. And the name lasted ever since.
A traditional way to make this recipe involves fresh pasta. In this case, I chose my favorite homemade Pasta: "Cavatelli". Cavatelli are perfect to realize baked pasta recipes or paired with legumes soup because they always maintain the "al dente" characteristic.
Ingredients for 2 People:
Durum Wheat Flour (Semolina) 1/2 lb | 250gr
Sea Salt 1 teaspoons
Warm Water 1 cup (or more)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil 3 tablespoons
Sea Salt to season
Cherry Tomato Sauce 11.6 oz
Mozzarella cheese ( or Mozzarella cheese Vegan Alternative )
Basil ( a bunch )
To Make Dough: Create a fountain with flour. With your hand make a well. Dissolve sea salt in warm water and start adding water until the hole is full. Then knead the dough with your hands, Feel it! (look at the video above to see the right movement). Repeat until the flour is absorbed and the dough is elastic and smooth. Add flour on the surface to avoid that the dough sticks to it.
To make Cavatelli: Divide the dough into 5 parts. Roll each dough ball with your hands on the surface until they become long snakes (look at the video above). Then cut them into little squares and give them the characteristic shape of " Cavatelli" pasta using a fork or your fingers ( I suggest again to watch the video recipe above ).
To make the Sauce: Cut the eggplant into cubes. Add the oil in a frying pan, saute the eggplant with basil and lightly salt. Add the tomato sauce, salt and basil and cook for 15-20 minutes at low eat.
To cook "Cavatelli": Meanwhile, cook the pasta in salted boiling water and when cooked, toss the cavatelli with the sauce. Now put the pasta in terracotta bowls and make layers of pasta and mozzarella ( or Ricotta salata ). Bake in oven (375 F) until the mozzarella is melted. Then decore with basil.
Enjoy and share with someone you love!