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Photos, Recipes & CookTales For Those Who Enjoy Cooking

Serves 2A CookTale

Sauce alla Norma is an Eggplant and Tomato-based sauce with a glorious history, originated in the city of Catania in Sicily. The most popular version of the story is that it was named 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.

INGREDIENTS for Sauce alla Norma

1 large firm Eggplant
2 TB of EVOO (more as required)
2 TB of dried Oregano (more as required)
1 tsp of Red Pepper flakes
4 Garlic cloves (peeled & finely sliced)
Basil leaves from 8 stems (sliced to a chiffonade)
1 tsp of White Wine Vinegar
2 14-ounce cans of diced Tomatoes
Sea Salt & fresh Black Pepper
4 oz of grated Salad Ricotta or Romano Pecorino (when plating)


1. Peel the Eggplant & cut it into bite size pieces.

2. Heat a large nonstick saute pan & add 1 TB of EVOO. Fry the Eggplant pieces in two batches, adding extra EVOO as needed. (Eggplants soak up a great amount of EVOO). Toss the Eggplant with the EVOO to coat, then sprinkle with 1 TB of the dried Oregano. Using two spatulas, turn the Eggplant until golden on all sides. Remove to a plate & repeat with the remaining Eggplant.

3. When the second Eggplant pieces have cooked, return the first batch to the pan & add the Red pepper Flakes. Reduce the heat to medium, add more EVOO, the Garlic & half of the chiffonade of Basil, stir together. Add the White Wine Vinegar & the diced Tomatoes. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes to bring the flavors together. Add the Salt & Pepper & the remaining half of Basil leaves & gently toss the sauce together.

RECIPE For Swordfish Steak
2 Swordfish steaks (8 oz each, 1″ thick)
2 TB of EVOO
Sea Salt & Black Pepper
Lemon Juice (optional)
1. Heat a cast iron grill pan to smoking hot. Add the prepared Steaks & grill, weighed down with a meat griddle for 2 minutes a side, no more or the result will be a dry juiceless fish.

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