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Sicilian Pasta alla Norma

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 572kcal
Traditional Sicilian pasta alla Norma is a beautifully simple 20-minute pasta dish that features crispy eggplant, rich tomato sauce and salty aged ricotta.
Print Recipe


  • 1 large aubergine
  • 255 ml extra-virgin olive oil (240 ml for frying + 15 ml for the sauce)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 5 whole canned plum tomatoes
  • ½ cup 120 ml of warm water or the juice of the canned tomatoes
  • 4 basil leaves
  • a pinch of brown sugar or a bay leaf
  • Sea salt and freshly-cracked black pepper
  • 350 g penne or spaghetti pasta
  • 3 tbsp ricotta salata cheese grated


  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  • Finely cube the eggplant, and pat the cubes dry with paper towels.
  • Heat 1 cup (240 ml) of extra-virgin olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Fold in the eggplant in a single layer and fry it until it’s crispy and golden on both sides, about 4 minutes.
  • Remove the eggplant with a slotted spoon and arrange the cubes in a single layer on a dish covered with paper towels. Dab the slices with a paper towel to absorb the excess oil.
  • Slice the tomatoes into half and remove their seeds. Heat a large pan with 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of extra-virgin olive oil and the garlic over medium heat. Fold in the tomatoes and stir-fry them for 5 minutes. Stir in ½ cup (120 ml) of warm water , 2 basil leaves and a pinch of sugar (or bay leaf), cover with a lid and cook for 10-15 minutes. Discard the garlic (and bay leaf if using) and season the sauce with sea salt and black pepper to taste.
  • Lightly salt the boiling water, fold in the pasta and cook until al dente, according to package directions, about 8 minutes. Drain the pasta and add it into the pan with the tomato sauce, followed by the fried eggplant cubes and the remaining basil leaves.
  • Stir all the ingredients together, sprinkle the ricotta salata all over the pasta and serve.


Calories: 572kcal | Carbohydrates: 93g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 6mg | Sodium: 752mg | Potassium: 1435mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 699IU | Vitamin C: 51mg | Calcium: 211mg | Iron: 6mg