Pasta alla Norma

We’re returning to Sicily! Pasta alla Norma is a scrumptious Sicilian pasta meal with eggplant, marinara and basil. I’m delighted to present you to this meal due to the fact that it is an entirely gratifying vegetarian supper. If you take pleasure in eggplant Parmesan, you’re going to enjoy pasta alla Norma. I’m yearning a bowl as I type.

Many pasta alla Norma dishes are made with fried eggplant, however this dish includes roasted eggplant. Eggplant actually soaks up oil like a sponge, so this brightens up the meal. Another plus? Roasting eggplant is simpler and less unpleasant.

I even more lightened this timeless dish by utilizing more eggplant and less pasta, so this meal will not put you to sleep. It’s good and saucy, simply the method I like it.

pasta alla norma ingredients

I do not speak Italian, so I initially presumed that “norma” indicated eggplant. Not the case! Norma is capitalized due to the fact that she’s a girl. Or an opera, depending upon how you take a look at it.

Here’s the backstory: Pasta alla Norma originates from Catania, a city on the eastern coast of Sicily. Catania is the home town of Vincenzo Bellini, an Italian opera author who resided in the early 1800s. Among Bellini’s most well-known operas, Norma, is called after its protagonist.

Folklore has it that playwright Nino Martoglio, after his very first bite of this pasta meal, exclaimed, “Chista è ‘na vera Norma!” (” This is a real Norma!”) That’s rather a compliment.

Watch How to Make Pasta alla Norma

how to prepare eggplant

Pasta alla Norma Active ingredients

Pasta alla Norma is evidence that easy active ingredients can yield amazing outcomes. This timeless Italian meal is particularly suitable in late summertime or early fall when eggplant remains in season. It’s so hearty that I’ll be enjoying it through the winter season.

Marinara Sauce

You actually can’t beat my Super Simple Marinara Sauce, which comes together with very little hassle. It’ll be all set around the time the eggplant is done roasting, and yields precisely the quantity of sauce you’ll require for this meal (2 cups). If you wish to streamline the dish, you might utilize an excellent store-bought marinara. My preferred is Rao’s.


Search for 2 medium eggplants with company, glossy skin and no contusions. They ought to feel heavy for their size. We will not trouble salting the eggplant prior to roasting it’s really unneeded with modern-day eggplants.

Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

Any quality extra-virgin olive oil will do. Utilize an Italian range if you wish to be as genuine as possible.


Usage rigatoni, ziti, spaghetti, or any pasta along those lines. You’ll see rigatoni in these images, however I have actually likewise actually delighted in spaghetti.

Fresh Basil

Basil perks up this saucy meal. We’ll utilize a quite generous quantity, about 1/2 cup or a whole little store-bought container. It deserves it.

A Couple Of Standard Spices

Newly ground black pepper, dried oregano and red pepper flakes complete the tastes in this meal. If you’re delicate to spice, go light on the red pepper flakes or omit them totally.


Real pasta alla Norma is made with aged ricotta salata, which is tough to discover in the United States. For something relatively comparable, attempt equivalent parts store-bought ricotta salata and Parmesan. Other ideas I have actually discovered online consist of Grana Padano or fully grown Pecorino Romano (with or without some collapsed feta). All that stated, I do not believe you might fail with mozzarella. Some dishes likewise consist of dollops of ricotta, which would definitely be delicious.

If you’re following a dairy-free or vegan diet plan, I think you’ll still enjoy this meal without cheese. Or, you might complete your bowls with a spray of vegan Parmesan and possibly even a dollop of vegan sour cream in location of ricotta.

roasted eggplant

How to Make Pasta alla Norma

This dish is easy enough to manage on a weeknight if you begin an hour prior to dinnertime. It requires a couple of easy elements and you’ll master it rapidly. Put yourself a glass of Italian red white wine, possibly a Sangiovese, and maximize it!

You’ll discover the complete dish listed below, however here’s the essence:

1) Start the marinara sauce.

That is, presuming you’re going the homemade path. You actually will not think how rapidly my marinara comes together!

2) Prepare and roast the eggplant.

We’re going to follow Ottolenghi’s lead here and utilize a veggie peeler to slash off strips of eggplant peel to make it look rather zebra-like. By doing this, you still get a few of the good texture of the eggplant skin, however you do not wind up with disruptive long strips of it in your completed meal (the eggplant tends to break down in the sauce, in a great way). Then, we’ll slice the eggplant into rounds, brush them with oil, and roast them till deeply golden.

3) Prepare the pasta in salted water.

Salting the water instills your pasta with more taste. Attempt to keep in mind to book a few of the pasta cooking water prior to draining it the starch in the water assists unify the sauce with the pasta. I generally scoop some into a Pyrex glass determining cup right before draining pipes. (If you forget, as I frequently do, no concerns.)

4) Stir all of it together.

This is when we include the fresh basil, the majority of the cheese (reserve some for garnish), and some spices. Include salt to taste, and your meal is all set to serve. Buon appetito.

how to make pasta alla norma

pasta alla norma in pot

More Eggplant Recipes to Take Pleasure In

  • Baba Ganoush
  • Caponata (likewise from Sicily)
  • Eggplant Parmesan
  • Mediterranean Quinoa Salad with Roasted Summer Season Veggies
  • Ratatouille
  • Roasted Eggplant & Tomato Orzo Pasta

As constantly, please let me understand how your pasta alla Norma ends up in the remarks! I enjoy speaking with you. If you’re starving for more pasta meals, I have actually got you covered.

homemade pasta alla norma

Pasta alla Norma

  • Author: Cookie and Kate
  • Preparation Time: 20 minutes
  • Prepare Time: 50 minutes
  • Overall Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4 portions 1 x
  • Classification: Meal
  • Technique: Roasted and stovetop
  • Food: Sicilian
  • Diet Plan: Vegetarian

5 from 76 evaluations

Pasta alla Norma is a scrumptious Sicilian pasta meal with eggplant, marinara and basil. This fantastic dish functions roasted eggplant, not fried! Dish yields 4 entrée portions.

Active Ingredients

  • 1 batch Super Easy Marinara Sauce, or 2 cups (16 ounces) store-bought marinara
  • 2 medium eggplants (about 2 1/4 pounds overall)
  • 1/4 cup + 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon great salt, more to taste
  • 8 ounces rigatoni, ziti or spaghetti
  • 1/2 cup sliced fresh basil, plus a handful more little basil leaves or torn leaves for garnish
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, to taste (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3/4 cup ( 1.5 ounces) carefully grated ricotta salata and/or Parmesan cheese


  1. If making your own marinara: Prepare the sauce per directions. If it’s done cooking prior to you’re all set to put together, cover the pot and keep it warm over really low heat. If you’re utilizing store-bought marinara, warm it in a pot over medium-low heat while you prepare the pasta.
  2. On the other hand, pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit with racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Line 2 big, rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper for simple clean-up.
  3. Utilize a veggie peeler to slash off long rotating strips of eggplant peel. The eggplants will look striped like zebras when you’re done. Then slice the eggplants into 1/2- inch thick rounds, disposing of completion pieces.
  4. Location the eggplant on the lined baking sheets. Brush the rounds with olive oil on both sides. Spray the eggplant with the salt and lots of pepper. Roast till deeply golden and tender, about 35 to 45 minutes, turning after 20 minutes. Reserve.
  5. Bring a big pot of salted water to boil and prepare the pasta till al dente, according to package instructions. Reserve some pasta cooking water prior to draining pipes (about 1/2 cup ought to be plenty), then return the pasta to the pot.
  6. When the eggplant is done and the marinara is completed cooking (or warmed through, if utilizing store-bought), carefully stir the roasted eggplant into the sauce. Include the staying 1 teaspoon olive oil, fresh basil, red pepper flakes (avoid if you do not like spice, or load it up if you do). Squash the dried oregano in between your fingers as you drop it in.
  7. Include the pasta to the sauce with a couple tablespoons of the reserved pasta cooking water, and carefully stir it in. Include about two-thirds of the cheese, scheduling the rest for garnish. Season to taste with extra salt (I normally include 1/4 teaspoon more) and black pepper. You can include a bit more of the reserved pasta cooking water to relax the sauce, if wanted.
  8. Divide the pasta in between 4 bowls. Spray the staying cheese on top of the specific portions, followed by some additional fresh basil. For included richness, sprinkle the portions gently with olive oil. Delight in! Remaining pasta will keep well in the fridge, covered, for 4 to 5 days.


Dish approximately adjusted from Ottolenghi Simple (a cookbook, affiliate link) and my eggplant Parmesan.

Make it gluten totally free: This meal would likely be good with tough gluten-free noodles, such as a corn and quinoa mix.

Make it dairy free/vegan: Leave out the cheese (this pasta is still really good without it). You might spray specific portions with vegan Parmesan. You may take pleasure in a dollop of vegan sour cream for some creaminess, too.

Parmesan note: Whole Foods 365 and BelGioioso brand names use vegetarian Parmesan cheese.

▸ Nutrition Details

The details revealed is a quote supplied by an online nutrition calculator. It ought to not be thought about an alternative to an expert nutritional expert’s guidance. See our complete nutrition disclosure here.

Check Out Complete Short Article .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *