Summer means the arrival of fresh vegetable, such as tomatoes, eggplants and fresh basil, which can combined to create one of the most known Sicilian dishes: the Pasta alla Norma. Its name comes from Nino Martoglio from Catania, who, after tasting this dish, said “It’s a Norma!” comparing its beauty and goodness to the famous opera by Vincenzo Bellini.

Ingredients for 4 people:

– 500 gr of tomatoes
– 400 gr of eggplants
– 2 cloves of garlic
– 100 gr of salted ricotta
– oil
– salt
– pepper
– 350 gr of pasta
– basil
– extra-virgin olive oil

Cut the eggplants into slices and arrange it in layers in a colander, sprinkled with salt; put on a plate and cover with a weight and let them rest for about 1 hour, until they release the bitter water.
Wash the tomatoes and boil for few minutes; drain them, peel them and cut them into quarters, after squeezing to remove the seeds and water; Put them on the cutting board and chop them with a knife.
Heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan, peel and crush the garlic cloves, brown them and then remove them. Add the tomatoes and some chopped basil leaves, add salt, pepper and cook the sauce for the pasta for about 15 minutes.
Wash and dry the eggplant slices to remove the salt. Fry them in a pan.
Cook the pasta in salted water, drain it and add it in a bowl with tomato sauce and part of the eggplants. Serve with other tomato sauce and eggplants, ricotta and fresh basil leaves.