Friday, September 4, 2020

Pasta alla Norma + Tasca d'Almerita Lamùri Nero d'Avola Sicilia 2016 #ItalianFWT

Katarina of Grapevine Adventures is hosting the Italian Food Wine Travel bloggers with this month's exploration of wine sustainability in Italian wines. You can read her invitation here.

If you are reading this early enough, feel free to join in our live Twitter chat as we talk about the subject. Follow the hashtag #ItalianFWT and be sure to add that to your tweets so we can see it in our stream. In the meantime, here's what the bloggers are sharing. All of these articles will go live between Friday, September 3rd and early morning Saturday, September 4th...

Tasca d'Almerita Lamuri 
Nero d'Avola Sicilia 2016

As with all of my wine purchases since March, I have had to look for wines online. Thankfully I was able to get my hands on a Tasca d'Almerita Lamuri Nero d'Avola Sicilia 2016 at

For eight generations, the Tasca d’Almerita family has been devoted stewards to Sicily's land and resources. In 1830 they acquired Tenuta Regaleali which covers over 500 hectares in the center of Sicily between Valledolmo and Sclafani Bagni. And one hundred and seventy years later, Alberto Tasca is focused on efforts to best conserve and promote the island by leading the efforts towards sustainable agriculture at his portfolio of estates.

To that end, Tasca helped establish and was the first to align to SOStain, a sustainability registry for Sicilian viticulture created in 2010 and in concordance with VIVA (sustainability in Italian viticulture) that prescribes certification through rigorous scientific indicators and tangible measurements. Tasca’s commitment to sustainability touches every aspect of his company as he seeks to perfect methods and increase awareness of everyday choices to sustain the planet for future generations.

The bottle I found was the Lamùri Nero d'Avola 2016.  Lamùri, which means 'love' in the Sicilian dialect, reflects the care that Tasca d'Almerita puts into its wines. This one is made from hand-harvested Nero d'Avola grapes. After fermentation, the wine is aged in French barriques for one year to add extra depth and finesse.

A brilliant, intense ruby in color, Lamùri offers warm aromas of summer-ripe fruits, vanilla, tobacco, and wild herbs.  On the palate, the wine boasts velvety tannins and a refreshing acidity which result in an elegant, balanced wine.

Pasta alla Norma

I wanted to pair the wine with a dinner that I love from Sicily: Pasta alla Norma. It's simple but tasty and colorful. Named for Vincenzo Bellini's opera "Norma." It's a dish that I have on my table frequently, especially now that my husband is plant-based during the week. It's also quick and filling.

The story goes that in the 19th century Nino Martoglio, a Sicilian poet and theater director, was so enamored when he first tried this pasta dish that he compared it to “Norma,” Bellini’s masterpiece. The name persisted.

Ingredients serves 4 to 6
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil + more for serving
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 eggplant, peeled and diced
  • 8 to 10 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 to 2 Tablespoons fresh basil, chopped + whole leaves for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1 cup whole milk ricotta 
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • pasta
  • parmigiano reggiano for serving


Lightly salt the eggplant cubes and let stand for at least 30 minutes. Melt butter in olive oil over low heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until softened but not browned, approximately 2 minutes.

Stir in the eggplant and until the eggplant loses it opacity, approximately 10 minutes. Add in the tomatoes (and their juices). Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have melted down and the sauce has thickened, approximately 25-30 minutes.

While the sauce simmers, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

Stir in the ricotta and the herbs into the tomato sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper, as needed. Toss the cooked pasta into the sauce until nicely coated. Add a splash of olive oil and toss to make it glossy.

Serve individual portions topped with a fresh basil leaf.

Let diners grate parmigiano reggiano over the top to their liking. As you can see my kids like a little pasta with their cheese!

That's it for this month's #ItalianFWT adventure. The group will be back in October with volcanic wines with our group's founder Jen of Vino Travels at the lead. Stay tuned for more information on that.


  1. I love pasta alla norma. I just bought eggplant at the store, but didnt know what to make and all I could think of was this. Tasca d'Almerita has great wines!

  2. This is a pasta that I will make. I love that it has a theatrical tie in!
    Thanks to your piece I have found more information on VIVA and look forward to learning more about this sustainability movement.

  3. I read further about SOStain... it's very similar to the program my article is about Equalitas. In fact it seems modeled after SOStain with a few differences. This is the future!

  4. I read a bit about SOStain after buying two Tasca d'Almerita wines, including the Nero d'Avola. After reading your post I'm really looking forward to opening it!

  5. The pasta looks delicious! I've really enjoyed the Tasca d'Almerita wines in past, and now will feel all the better about doing so.

  6. Great article about Tasca d'Almerita's work for sustainability. And a yummy pairing too. :-)