This was a pasta dish that popped up on every menu and we had it several times during our round trip through Sicily.
The story "alla Norma" comes from the opera "Norma" that 1831 Vincenzo Bellini from Catania composed in just 3 month. It was published in the Scala Opera House in Milan. The opera Norma got famous through a aria "Casta Diva" .
"Norma" is synonymous for all things beautiful, solid prepared or remarkable.
At a banquette in 1920 this sauce was served over pasta and someone told the hostess that this sauce tasted "as a real Norma". That day this pasta sauce has got its name. Usually served with spaghetti, but we had it with lots of different kinds of fresh made or store bought kinds of pasta.
recipe for 2:
250 g pasta or traditional spaghetti
300 g tomato puree
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 tsp sugar
5 basil leaves
salt and pepper
60 g hard salted ricotta
2 tbsp olive oil
Cut the eggplant into cubes and put them in salted water and set them aside for 30 minutes. Drain.
Brown onions and garlic in olive oil and add the tomato puree, salt, pepper and sugar and cook it for 1 hour.
Cook the pasta and drain.
In an other pan fry off the eggplants and let them drip on kitchen paper to get rid of some oil. Mix with the tomato sauce.
Bring it together, add a bit of basil leaves and grate the hard ricotta on top.