Pasta Alla Norma

This classic Sicilian dish is classic for a reason. Soft, custardy eggplant is tossed with pasta in a bright tomato sauce and served in a snow fall of ricotta salata. I added a bit of Parmigiano as well because, well, why not? 

pasta alla norma


Pasta Alla Norma


Main Course pasta



Prep Time

25 minutes

Cook Time

30 minutes




Giada De Laurentiis

Image of Pasta Alla Norma


  • 3 Japanese eggplants, (sliced into 1/3 inch half moons)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, (divided)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil plus 2 tablespoons, (divided)
  • 3 garlic cloves, (smashed and peeled)
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

  • 1 28-ounce can chopped san marzano tomatoes, or 2.2 lb jar whole San Marzano tomatoes*

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 pound short tube pasta, such as Elicoidali, Mezze Millerighe or Rigatoni Rigate
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • 1/2 cup torn basil leaves, (from 2 stems)
  • 1 cup coarsely grated ricotta salata


  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Place the eggplant in a colander and season with 1 teaspoon salt. Allow the eggplant to sit for 15 minutes. Spread the eggplant on a clean kitchen towel and ring out any excess moisture. Spread the dry eggplant on a rimmed baking sheet. Toss with 1/4 cup olive oil and roast, stirring halfway through, until the eggplant is tender and browning in spots, about 20 to 30 minutes. Set aside.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. To the hot pan add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the red pepper flakes followed by the tomatoes, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and the oregano. Stir to combine. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring often, until slightly reduced, about 15 minutes.
  4. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season the boiling water generously with salt and add the pasta. Cook the pasta for 1 minute less than package directions about 11 minutes. Using a pasta spider or strainer, scoop the pasta directly from the water into the tomato sauce. Add 1/2 cup of pasta water to the pan. Sprinkle the parmesan cheese directly on the bare pasta. Toss well to coat. Simmer the pasta in the sauce over medium heat until al dente adding another 1/4 cup of pasta water if needed. This will take another 2 to 3 minutes. Toss in the roasted eggplant and the basil. Serve sprinkled with grated ricotta salata and a drizzle of olive oil if desired.
  5. *Cook',s Note: If using the 2.2 lb jar of San Marzano tomatoes, break them up by hand in a bowl before cooking, or add them straight to the pan and use scissors to cut them up. Add 1/4 teaspoon extra salt to the recipe, if using, and taste to adjust seasoning if necessary.



per serving
Amount/Serving % Daily Value
78 grams
24 grams
21 grams
Saturated Fat
8 grams
32 milligrams
1113 milligrams
9 grams
14 grams
Unsaturated Fat
12 grams
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