|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Servings: 4 to 6|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 10g||13%|
|Saturated Fat 3g||17%|
|Total Carbohydrate 29g||11%|
|Dietary Fiber 3g||11%|
|Total Sugars 3g|
|Vitamin C 8mg||42%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
Pasta alla Norma is an Italian dish made with fried eggplant and tomato sauce. It is a quintessential Sicilian pasta dish that was originally created in Catania, Sicily. The name is said to have originated with the Italian writer Nino Martoglio who, upon eating the pasta, declared that is was "the real Norma," meaning it was as exceptional and perfect as the Bellini opera Norma.
This dish is typically prepared with penne rigate pasta, tomatoes, eggplant, fresh basil, and ricotta salata cheese. Penne rigate is a great choice for this particular dish because the ribbed surface is perfect for chunky vegetable-based sauces such as this. Bits of flavor can nestle into those small ridges and infuse into each bite.
The key to a perfect pasta alla Norma is salting and draining the eggplant before adding it to the dish. This helps draw some of the water out of the eggplant and makes the final dish less bitter. It also helps the eggplant absorb less oil while frying. Serve the pasta with a simple salad as a filling main course.
2 cups cubed eggplant
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups canned Italian chopped tomatoes
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 pound penne rigate pasta
1 cup grated ricotta salata or Parmesan cheese
Steps to Make It
Gather the ingredients.
Place the cubed eggplant in a colander and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Toss to coat.
Cover with a weighted plate and let drain for 15 minutes. Pat the eggplant cubes dry.
Bring a big pot of salted water to a boil for the pasta. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the eggplant and cook for 2 minutes.
Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, oregano, remaining 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and the pepper.
Stir in the tomatoes and basil. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
Cook the pasta in the boiling water according to package directions until al dente. Drain. Add to the pan with the sauce. Toss until well coated and cook for 2 minutes.
Turn off the heat and top with the freshly grated cheese. Toss well. Garnish with additional fresh basil to serve.
How to Store
Any leftover pasta alla Norma can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- If you have difficulty finding ricotta salata cheese, grated Parmesan cheese can also be used.
- Gluten-free versions of penne rigate also work well in this dish.
- For a quicker dish, toss the salted and sautéed eggplant with your favorite store-bought tomato basil pasta sauce.