This pasta is named after the famous sicilian composer Vincenzo Bellini's opera.
Here is Maria Callas singing Casta Diva from Norma.
- Pasta - any shape you like
- Onion and/or garlic - chopped
- Italian Tomato puree
- Fresh peeled and diced tomatoes, or canned
- Handful of basil leaves
- Grated Parmigiano Reggiano, or Romano Cheese
- Extra virgin olive oil only
- Cut the eggplant in cubes [i keep the skin, it is edible and i like the contrast of the dark purple with the red of the sauce and the white of pasta] and soak in salty water while you make the tomato sauce.
- Mince onion and/or garlic and sauté in oil. Add the Italian tomato puree and stir until the oil separates. Dilute with some water and then add the small cubes of fresh tomatoes. You can also use any Italian canned tomatoes, diced or crushed, the choice is yours.
- Let it cook until thick, and at the end toss an handful of fresh basil leaves. The sauce has to smell of basil, and the basil has to be added only at the end when the fire is off. Just a small rule, as for the extra virgin olive oil, i mean you need to use the right oil if you want to get the right taste, any other oil will taste just very much "not Italian". You can add chilies and again it will not be Italian. Well, you can cook the way you like, but then remember that you will not get the real Italian taste.
- Drain the eggplant, squeeze the cubes, rinse in fresh water, and squeeze again. Place the cubes in a non-stick pan with little oil [adding some little more if necessary - eggplant absorbs lots of oil] and sauté till they are all browned.
- Add the eggplants to the sauce.
- Boil the pasta and toss it in the pan with the sauce.
- Serve with grated Parmigiano or Romano.
Basil is very important with this kind of pasta, so please no parsley or any other so-called Italian seasoning like Oregano. Of course you can dress the pasta with whatever you like, i guess someone loves Tomato Ketchup and that's it, the Italian taste is gone gone gone.