The Best Secret of Catania: what is Pasta Alla Norma

Appetit Voyage
Pasta Alla Norma
Or how Bellini could fascinate the cuisine and a chef!

The tragic Opera, La Norma written by Bellini, son of Catania, in 1831 inspired a chef who legated this amazing recipe to the heritage of the Sicilian cuisine.

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I get introduced to this fabulous dish by my friend Alessandro. He's an amazing artist with an extraordinary mind and sensitivity. And when it comes to cooking, his delicate sophisticated heart blows up your palate and senses.

He does not want to be told a chef, and only cooks for friends and family. I had the great pleasure to share his cuisine in Haarlem, especially his Pasta Alla Norma!

Pata Alla Norma sounds quite simple and easy: pasta with a tomato sauce, fried aubergines, grated ricotta salata and fresh basil leaves. This piece of art is a real challenge for any good chef!

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Tomato Sauce
Alessandro was spending the whole afternoon cooking and preparing the dish. The most delicate one was the tomato sauce. Only tomatoes. Cooked for hours and beautiful expressed in a perfect texture and intense taste. The best pure tomato sauce ever that includes some secrets!

The aubergines are sliced in large slices and fried in olive oil.

The pasta is cooked al dente. He was usually choosing some big ones in tubes shape.

One of the secret of the dish is the ricotta salata. This cheese made from sheep whey is quite well-known everywhere when fresh. In Italy, you can find other kind of ricotta, like this one, which is salted, pressed and dried. The texture and flavour is really unique and can´t be replaced for the dish.

After being totally seduced several time with the Pasta Alla Norma from Alessandro, I took advantage of my trip to Sicily to try several others Pasta Alla Norma in Catania and compare recipes. 
I had a beautiful one in a wine bar in Catania. 

Though, after several attempts, I did not find a better dish than the one made with love by Alessandro.

Discover more about Sicily with my next Sicilian Wines Tasting on the Sat. 16 Feb in Haarlem! Join us now for a travel to the Etna!

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