Pasta alla Norma

Pasta alla Norma is a classic Sicilian pasta dish that pays homage to Vincenzo Bellini, one of Sicily’s most celebrated composers, and his famous opera “Norma.” This dish reflects the rich and flavorful culinary traditions of Sicily, known for its delicious combination of eggplants, tomatoes, basil, and grated ricotta salata cheese. The sweet, tender, and slightly smoky flavors of the eggplants complement the vibrant tomato sauce, creating a harmonious symphony of tastes and textures that are truly operatic. Pasta alla Norma has become an iconic representation of Sicilian cuisine, adored for its simplicity and rich, authentic flavors.


  • Moderate

Wine Pairings

  • Not Available

Servings For :

  • 4 People


  • Approximately 30 minutes of preparation and cooking


  • Moderate

Italy Region

  • Sicilia


  • Not Available


  • 360-400 g of pasta (typically penne or spaghetti)
  • 2-3 medium-sized eggplants
  • 4-5 ripe tomatoes or a can of crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Grated ricotta salata cheese (substitute: Pecorino Romano cheese)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • Black pepper


  1. Start by preparing the eggplants. Cut them into cubes or rounds, depending on your preference. Sprinkle them with salt and let them sit for about 30 minutes. This helps remove any bitterness from the eggplants. Afterward, rinse and pat them dry with paper towels.
  2. In a large pan, heat a generous amount of extra virgin olive oil over medium-high heat. Fry the eggplants until they are golden and tender, then transfer them to a plate lined with paper towels to drain any excess oil.
  3. In the same pan, add a little more olive oil if needed, and sauté the minced garlic until fragrant.
  4. If using fresh tomatoes, blanch them in boiling water for a minute, then peel and roughly chop them. If using canned crushed tomatoes, skip this step.
  5. Add the chopped tomatoes (or canned tomatoes) to the pan with the garlic. Cook for about 10-15 minutes, allowing the sauce to thicken and the tomatoes to break down.
  6. While the sauce is simmering, cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water until al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving some pasta cooking water.
  7. Combine the cooked pasta with the tomato sauce, fried eggplants, and torn fresh basil leaves. Toss everything together, adding a little pasta cooking water if needed to achieve the desired consistency.
  8. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
  9. Serve Pasta alla Norma hot, garnished with grated ricotta salata cheese and additional fresh basil leaves.
  10. Enjoy this flavorful and iconic Sicilian pasta dish that captures the essence of the Mediterranean with every bite.

Pasta alla Norma is a delightful and satisfying dish, celebrating the flavors of Sicily with its combination of eggplants, tomatoes, and aromatic basil.

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