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Norma

a Sicilian pasta dish

Pasta alla Norma, with a sauce of aubergines, tomato, ricotta salata and basil, comes from Catania in Sicily. So does composer Vincenzo Bellini, and the story says that the dish was named in honour of his opera Norma.

Of course, some pasta scholars maintain that the dish was so common in 19th century Sicily that people began to call it 'normal' pasta. Similar controversies rage over whether it should be served over maccheroni or spaghetti.

Text © Dana Facaros and Michael Pauls

Images by: Stacy