I became an honorary Sicilian the other day.
How, you ask me?
I married a man who was born in Sicily.
I carried two half-Sicilian children in my womb for eighteen months (that is 9 x 2, I am not an elephant. Yet.).
I made something that is so second nature to a Sicilian that they wouldn't think twice about it, like when you lock your front door and don't remember doing it.
I deep-fried eggplant.
So what is the big deal?
Well, first of all, deep frying has always scared the bejesus out of me. I do not deep fry anything. Ever. But I decided that now that I have a food blog I have to face up to my fears and tread into the unknown. Secondly, I have been eating my mother in law's fried eggplant for the last 16 years and it somehow never occured to me I could make it myself.
I had one, lonely eggplant in my fridge. I couldn't come up with any ideas and I wanted to make something quick on a week night. What else is new? I decided to make pasta alla Norma. Pasta with a simple, garlic-based tomato sauce, fried eggplant and ricotta salata (see below) sprinkled over it. The dish, which seems to have originated in Catania, was dedicated to the composer Vincenzo Bellini (from this city) and his best-known opera La Norma.
So chop, chop. chop and fry, fry, fry I went.
Result? It had to be good because my DH, who was presumably already drinking fried eggplant in his bottle, said it was perfect, or to be more accurate, perfetta!