What has the Norma by Vincenzo Bellini got to do with it? Ask someone from Catania. Some will tell you about a lovely teacher, others about the exclamation by Nino Martoglio delighted over the taste. Others still about an opera company who, every evening when their performance of Norma at the Bellini theatre was over, asked the trattoria to serve them a fast, tasty dish. A very simple first course, rich in taste, from Catania. Usually macaroni seasoned with tomato sauce plus fried aubergines, salted ricotta and basil.

Ingredients for 4: 

  • 400g penne rigate or macaroni
  • 500ml tomato sauce
  • 1-2 aubergines
  • salted ricotta
  • extra virgin olive oil, 1 clove garlic, basil.

Preparation: Slice the aubergines and layer them in a colander sprinkled with salt. Leave to drain for half an hour to lessen their bitterness. Prepare the tomato sauce: fry the garlic gently in a pan with some extra virgin olive oil, add the tomato sauce and a little salt and cook for about 15 minutes, add a few basil leaves. Fry the aubergines in abundant oil, then cut them into strips and place them in the pan with the tomato sauce. Cook the pasta, add the sauce and aubergines, dust with grated salted ricotta.