A Signature Dish: Pasta alla Norma


Maccheroncini alla Norma (Maccheroni pasta, in this case, bucatini, with tomato sauce, eggplant, and grated ricotta salata cheese on top) is a classic Sicilian recipe. There are many theories about why it’s named “alla Norma,” the most convincing being that the name pays homage to Vincenzo Bellini’s opera, Norma. Bellini (1801-1835) was born in Catania, and is one of Sicily’s favorite sons.

5 Comments Add yours

  1. John Keahey says:

    Coincidentally, or on purpose, while the opera “Norma” may be the source of the name for pasta alla Norma, the first singer in the opera’s lead role when it premiered in 1832 was Giuditta Pasta. Hence ‘pasta’ alla ‘Norma’. But this may just be a theory, of course. :>)

    1. Then, there is also a theory that it was originally known as pasta “normale,” or normal pasta… And eventually became Norma as a play on words. Such folk history is never cut and dried like our teachers taught us it was in school!

  2. This is one of my favorites! I’m a vegetarian and I love that when I eat this I feel like I’ve had a primo and secondo!

    1. It’s true! It’s so satisfying!

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