Pasta alla Norma (Eggplant Pasta)

eggplant pasta a la norma

Pasta a la Norma

Pasta alla Norma is a delicious Sicilian pasta dish with eggplant, tomatoes and basil. It’s a delicious meatless meal that is completely satisfying and carb-worthy.

This classic Italian dish is especially appropriate in late summer or early fall when eggplant is in season.

Pasta alla Norma comes from Catania, a city on the eastern coast of Sicily. Catania is the hometown of Vincenzo Bellini, an Italian opera composer who lived in the early 1800s. One of Bellini’s most famous operas, Norma, is named after its lead character.

Folklore has it that playwright Nino Martoglio, after his first bite of this pasta dish, exclaimed, “Chista è ‘na vera Norma!” (“This is a true Norma!”) What a compliment!

Ingredients in Eggplant Pasta

Eggplant

Look for two medium eggplants with firm, shiny skin, and no bruises. They should feel heavy for their size. 

Tomatoes

you can use canned or fresh tomatoes – I like petite diced tomatoes so that you don’t get large chunks of tomato in the sauce. 

Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

Any quality extra-virgin olive oil will do. Use an Italian variety if you want to be as authentic as possible.

Pasta

Use cavatappi, rigatoni, ziti, spaghetti, or any pasta along those lines. 

Fresh Basil

Basil brightens up this saucy meal. 

A Few Basic Spices

Freshly ground black pepper, dried oregano, and red pepper flakes round out the flavors in this dish. 

Cheese

True pasta alla Norma is made with aged ricotta salata, which is hard ricotta cheese, but it is difficult to find in the United States. I always use Parmesan cheese, and if you want extra creaminess, you could add some dollops of ricotta cheese. 

eggplant pasta alla norma ingredients

  • 8 oz Cavatappi pasta – or any shape pasta
  • 1 eggplant, cubed
  • 4 – 5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 14 oz can of petite diced tomatoes or diced tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 /2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • fresh parmesan cheese, grated or ricotta salata if you can find it

Add these items to your Safeway shopping list for grocery delivery or pickuphere or by clicking the buy now button below. 

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How to Make Pasta alla Norma

Preheat the oven to 425° F.

Cube the eggplant into 1″ inch cubes and place them onto a baking sheet. 

Toss the cubed eggplant with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. 

Roast the eggplant for 30 – 35 minutes until golden brown, turning with a spatula halfway through. 

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook the pasta until al dente, according to package directions. 

Meanwhile, make the sauce.  Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat.  Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the minced garlic and diced onions in a heated non-stick skillet.  Cook, stirring often for about 5 minutes until the garlic and onions soften.  

If using regular diced tomatoes, roughly chop them into petite pieces before cooking to avoid having arge tomato chunks in the sauce. 

Add the petite diced tomatoes, dried oregano, red pepper flakes (if using) and season with salt and pepper to taste.  

Once the eggplant is roasted, add it to the tomato sauce and stir to combine. 

Add the pasta to the skillet and stir to coat.  

Plate into 4 large bowls and top with freshly shaved parmesan cheese and fresh basil.

 

 

Additional Eggplant Recipes

Grilled Eggplant With Romesco, Basil & Feta Cheese

Easy Eggplant Pizza

 

eggplant pasta a la norma

Pasta alla Norma

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Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Eggplant Pasta, pasta alla Norma
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4 entree servings
Calories:
Author: Eva Fry

Ingredients

  • 8 oz Cavatappi pasta - or any shape pasta
  • 1 eggplant cubed
  • 4 - 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil divided
  • 1 14 oz can of petite diced tomatoes or diced tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 /2 teaspoon red pepper flakes optional
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil chopped
  • fresh parmesan cheese grated or ricotta salata if you can find it

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425° F.
  • Cube the eggplant into 1" inch cubes and place them onto a baking sheet.
  • Toss the cubed eggplant with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Roast the eggplant for 30 - 35 minutes until golden brown, turning with a spatula halfway through.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook the pasta until al dente, according to package directions.
  • Meanwhile, make the sauce.  Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat.  Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the minced garlic and diced onions in a heated non-stick skillet.  Cook, stirring often for about 5 minutes until the garlic and onions soften.
  • If using regular diced tomatoes, roughly chop them into petite pieces before cooking to avoid having arge tomato chunks in the sauce.
  • Add the petite diced tomatoes, dried oregano, red pepper flakes (if using) and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Once the eggplant is roasted, add it to the tomato sauce and stir to combine.
  • Add the pasta to the skillet and stir to coat.
  • Plate into 4 large bowls and top with freshly shaved parmesan cheese and fresh basil.

 

 

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