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Photos, Recipes & CookTales For Those Who Enjoy Cooking

Serves 2
A CookTale

A Sauce with a glorious history. One version suggests it was named Pasta alla Norma after Italian composer Vincent Bellini’s much-loved 1832 opera Norma. Others believe that Bellini’s opera was such an outstanding work, the name Norma simply became associated with what’s wonderful, hence the Norma sauce.
This is adapted from a recipe by Mario Batali. A chef who I confidently believe in. I assure you that by following the ingredient list you will prepare a superlative plate of Norma Pasta.

RECIPE For the Norma Sauce


2 TB of EVOO + extra for drizzling
1/2 of a medium Red Onion chopped into 1/4″ dice
3 Garlic Cloves thickly sliced (no less than 3 or to taste)
1 28 Ounce can of Italian Plum Tomatoes (San Marzano preferred)
1 Medium Eggplant cut into 1″ dice (skin on)
2 Sprigs of Basil hand torn+full leaves for garnish
2 sprigs of chopped fresh Thyme
6 Ounces of Ricotta Salata, coarsely chopped
1/4 Bunch of flat leaf Parsley Leaves chopped
1/4 Bunch of fresh Mint Leaves chopped
Salt & Pepper (to taste)
A pinch of Red Pepper Flakes (or to taste)
4 to 6 Ounces of Fusilli (or other short cut pastas)


1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add 2 TB of Salt.

2. In a 12″ saute pan heat the 2 TB of Olive Oil until smoking. Add the Red Onion & the Garlic, cook until soft but not yet browned, about 5 to 6 minutes.

3. Add the diced Eggplant & cook, stirring regularly until softened & browned, about 8 to 10 minutes.
Squeeze each of the drained Tomatoes by hand & add them to the pan along with the Basil & the Thyme. Bring to a boil, simmer for 15 minutes to incorporate the flavors. Season to taste with Salt & Pepper.

4. Cook the pasta according to package directions Drain well & pour the hot pasta into the pan.

RECIPE For the Curry Butter Chicken Thighs


2 8 Ounce Skin On Chicken Thighs
1 TB of mild Curry Powder (or to your liking)
2 TB of Butter
Kosher Salt & Black Pepper
1 TB of Olive Oil for the fry pan


1. Mix together the Curry Powder & Butter into a smooth emulsion. Carefully lift the Thigh’s skin & with a spatula & coat the meat.

2. Rub any remaining Curry Butter on the skin. Salt & Pepper
the Thighs. Set aside until 25 minutes before serving

3. When ready , heat the pan, (for this recipe I like the control of an electric pan) to 325F. Add 1TB of Olive Oil & when rippling, add the Thighs, skin side down.

4. Pan fry for about ten minutes & turn the underside down for another ten to twelve minutes. Check the internal temperature, 135F is ideal for Meduium Rare.

5. Remove each Thigh to a plate & spoon the delicious Curry Butter sauce on & around them.

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