Pasta alla Norma

How to Make Pasta alla Norma

Experience the vibrant flavors of Sicily with my version of the classic Pasta alla Norma, a traditional Italian dish sure to delight your taste buds. Named after the famous opera, this pasta dish is a tribute to the rich culinary heritage of Sicily.

Additionally, if you’re a vegetarian or simply looking for a meat-free meal, this is an excellent choice. This dish is hearty and filling, and the combination of eggplant and cheese provides a substantial source of protein. Moreover, it’s a delicious and healthy way to enjoy a classic Italian dish.

Furthermore, with its unique blend of flavours and wholesome ingredients, this is a dish sure to impress. This recipe is an excellent choice whether you’re cooking for a special occasion or a weeknight dinner. 

Watch Pasta alla Norma recipe:

How to Make PASTA ALLA NORMA (Eggplant Pasta) Like a Sicilian

pasta alla norma

Vincenzo’s Top Tip To Make Pasta alla Norma

Keep ’em away from burning

Make sure the garlic doesn’t burn! If it starts to brown add a few drops of water.

Choose the right eggplant

Look for firm and shiny eggplants without any blemishes or soft spots. The skin should be smooth and free of wrinkles.

Cook the pasta al dente

Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted water until al dente, then drain and reserve some of the cooking water to add to the sauce.

pasta alla norma

Pasta alla Norma

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4


  • 2 Medium sized deep fry pan
  • wooden spoon
  • Large pot (for boiling pasta)
  • Pasta strainer
  • Grater
  • knife


  • 300 grams Casarecce Pasta 8oz
  • Handful of fresh basil
  • 400 grams Peeled tomatoes 1 small tin
  • 1 clove Garlic
  • 1 Eggplant large
  • Ricotta salata
  • Extra virgin olive oil EVOO
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Salt + Pepper
  • 5 L Water


  • Heat up vegetable oil in a deep fry pan.
  • Cut the eggplant into strips that are around 1cm in width.
  • Fry the eggplant strips until they start to brown, then remove them from the oil and place them on kitchen paper so the oil absorbs on it.
  • Heat up EVOO in a deep pan on a low heat in preparation for cooking your sauce.
  • Add garlic and sauté for a couple of minutes.
  • Add 400g Italian peeled tomatoes to a bowl, sprinkle salt over the top then break them down using a potato masher.
  • Add dried oregano, pepper, fresh basil leaves, mix together and add to the pan.
  • Stir it gently using a wooden spoon and simmer on a low heat.
  • Add 3/4 of your eggplant strips and leave to simmer for around 40 minutes.
  • Once it is almost ready, grate a handful of ricotta salata into the sauce and leave it to melt.
  • Boil water in a large pot, add a small handful of rock salt and let it dissolve.
  • Add the pasta to the pot and cook according to the packet instructions (I strongly recommend using Pasta Casarecce as it’s the closest you will find to Maccheroncini).
  • Once the pasta is cooked, strain it and add it to the sauce.
  • Later the sauce over the top of the pasta using a wooden spoon.
  • E ora si mangia, Vincenzo’s Plate….Enjoy!
Keyword classic italian pasta recipe, Easy Vegetarian Italian Recipe, Homemade Italian Food, Italian Comfort Food, Italian Eggplant Pasta, traditional italian pasta, vegetarian italian pasta
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

How to serve Pasta alla Norma

To serve a delicious plate of pasta alla norma, start by placing a portion of the pasta in the center of a colorful plate. Next, grate some ricotta salata on top of the pasta, allowing its salty flavor to complement the tomato sauce. Add a few pieces of eggplant on top to provide a satisfying texture and taste. Finally, sprinkle some fresh basil leaves on top to give the dish a pop of color and a burst of fresh aroma.

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2 Responses to Pasta alla Norma

  1. Peter Chelemedos August 21, 2022 at 2:23 PM #

    PASTA ALLA NORMA question:
    I’ve never cared for eggplant, only because i don’t like the flavor. I’m probably the only Greek who doesn’t like moussaka.
    I’d like to make this dish, but was wondering if I could use squash as a substitution for eggplant.
    Thank you for your time.
    Best regards from California,
    Peter Chelemedos

    • Vincenzo's Plate May 3, 2023 at 6:49 PM #

      Hello Peter! Yes, you can definitely substitute eggplant with squash in this recipe. Zucchini or yellow squash would work well as a replacement for eggplant. The taste and texture of the dish may be slightly different, but it will still be delicious.

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