Go Back
+ servings
Pasta alla Norma featured image.
Print Recipe
5 from 11 votes

Pasta Alla Norma

Pasta alla Norma is a Sicilian pasta that combines eggplant and al dente pasta tossed with tomato sauce and finished with fresh basil and ricotta salata.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time35 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Course: Main Course, pasta
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4


  • 1 pound rigatoni
  • 1 1/2 pounds eggplant cubed
  • 3/4 cup olive oil for frying eggplant
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic sliced
  • 2 small anchovy fillets or 1-2 teaspoons anchovy paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 ounces tomato paste
  • 1 28 ounce can whole plum tomatoes hand crushed or blender pulsed
  • 1/4 packed cup basil
  • 1 cup Ricotta Salata shredded
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Heat the olive in a large pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, pat the eggplant cubes very dry then add to the pan. Working in batches, fry the eggplant until well browned and soft (about 10-12 minutes per batch) then remove to a paper towel-lined plate and sprinkle with salt.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.
  • Wipe the pan used to cook the eggplant down with paper towels then add the extra virgin olive oil, garlic, and anchovies. Saute for 2 minutes or until golden, while mashing the anchovies into the oil.
  • Add the red pepper flakes and cook for 30 seconds. Next, add the tomato paste and cook for 5 minutes stirring frequently. If the paste starts to burn, add a splash of water and turn down the heat a bit if required.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes to the pan and season with a bit of salt. Bring the sauce to a simmer.
  • Once the pasta water comes to a boil, cook the pasta until 1 minute less than al dente.
  • Add the pasta to the sauce and toss to coat. Add the eggplant cubes and the basil. Mix well and once the pasta reaches al dente remove the pan from the heat.
  • Taste test and adjust salt and pepper to taste. Serve in bowls, evenly distributing the ricotta salata cheese onto each plate. Enjoy!



  • Makes 4 large or 6 regular size servings.
  • Anchovies can be omitted.
  • Substitute Pecorino Romano if unable to find Ricotta Salata.
  • If the pasta is a little dry add some of the reserved pasta water to loosen it up before serving.
  • Leftovers can be saved for up to 3 days in the fridge and can be reheated in the microwave.


Calories: 809kcal | Carbohydrates: 77.1g | Protein: 22.1g | Fat: 48.6g | Saturated Fat: 10.3g | Cholesterol: 113mg | Sodium: 1047mg | Potassium: 465mg | Iron: 5.2mg