A La Norma

October 20th, 2020 § 0 comments

Some decades ago, HG/BSK toured the magical island of Sicily with the R. family (daughter Lesley, granddaughters Arianna and Sofia, son in law Massimo, the distinguished Professor, and authority on all aspects of Italian culture). Massimo was an invaluable guide. One sunny day, HG/BSK and family lunched on the terrace of a hilltop restaurant. Beautiful view of the ruins of a Greek temple (columns still intact). This was a reminder that Sicily had been occupied by many nations (European and Arabic) through the centuries. HG/BSK relished their lunch dish of Spaghetti a la Norma (pasta with an eggplant sauce). Through the years, BSK duplicated the dish for many joyous meals. However, the ultimate, ecstatic a la Norma was produced last night as Prince Edward Island (and HG/BSK’s oceanfront home) was battered by hurricane-force winds (the sea was a froth of whitecaps). Oddly, much of PEI lost electric power but HG/BSK’s system remained intact. BSK used the “Pasta alla Norma” recipe from Yotam Ottolenghi’s cookbook: “Keep It Simple.” Yes, HG has noted that traditional Italian methods for pasta dishes were superior to Ottolenghi’s riffs on the subject. HG was wrong. Ottolenghi’s recipe called for oiled slices of eggplant to be roasted for 30 minutes before being added to the other ingredients for further simmering. Italian recipes call for raw cubes of eggplant to be cooked in the pan. The Ottolenghi recipe created the silkiest, juiciest, flavorful sauce ever. BSK said BSK will try other Ottolenghi pasta recipes. HG looks forward.

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