Thursday, 29 May 2014

Forza Italia

Things for celebrations

The second of June is a holiday in Italy. It is the day that Italy became a republic, in 1946. This year it happens to be on a Monday so we are all looking forward to a long weekend. The Italian flags have been hung up all around the town and there is a festive air. On the 12 Th June Italy will play it's first match in Brazil against England. Gary Lineker has already said that  England hasn't got much hope and the Italians aren't very optimistic about their chances either, so let's wave some flags, shake some rattles, cheer and clap and enjoy the atmosphere.
Yesterday in the supermarket there was a small display of football paraphernalia and I chose a couple of things to add to the celebrations. Last time I bought those long plastic bazooka things and they got in the way once Italy was knocked out.
To celebrate Italy I made Pasta Alla Norma. It is a Sicilian dish and  Montalbano eats it quite a lot. I got this recipe from a Sicilian friend . She made it for the festa della donna, because it is named after a woman. It's a great dish, you can make the sauce well in advance , so all you have to do is boil up the water for the pasta and make a green salad to go with it.

Pasta Alla Norma

Serves 4

2 aubergines, washed, dried and cut into small cubes
300g fusilli or conchiglie
600g passata di pomodoro
Olive oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped finely
Pinch of sugar
Salt and pepper
Fresh basil
Grated ricotta

First make the tomato sauce . Fry the garlic gently in the oil without colouring then add the passata, salt, pepper, sugar, a few basil leaves and simmer gently for about20 minutes.
Fry the aubergine cubes in a non stick pan with some oil until slightly browned and then drain on kitchen  paper.. Prepare the ricotta in a  bowl with some grated Parmesan cheese. Set the three bowls aside until ready to serve.
Cook the pasta in a large saucepan of salted water until cooked. Mix the tomato sauce and aubergines together and stir together with the drained pasta. Lastly add the ricotta, a few more basil leaves and check the seasoning .

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