Pasta alla Norma


This is an original recipe given to me from Sicilian relatives. Pasta is tossed with a simple tomato sauce, then topped with fried eggplant, ricotta salata, and hot peppers. The cut of pasta is not too important, it is good even with spaghetti.

Prep Time:
10 mins
Cook Time:
27 mins
Additional Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 7 mins
4 servings


  • 1 eggplant, sliced into 1-inch rounds

  • 2 tablespoons rock salt

  • 1 (14.25 ounce) can tomato puree

  • 1 teaspoon rock salt

  • 1 clove garlic, lightly smashed

  • 5 large basil leaves

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 (8 ounce) package penne pasta

  • 3 ½ tablespoons ricotta salata

  • 1 tablespoon diced fresh cayenne pepper, or to taste


  1. Combine eggplant and 2 tablespoons salt in a large bowl with water to cover. Place a plate on top of the eggplant to weigh it down and keep it covered in water for about 30 minutes. Drain and rinse eggplant in cool water. Pat dry and cut into cubes.

  2. Combine tomato puree, 1 teaspoon rock salt, garlic, and basil in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce flavors combine, 5 to 10 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Saute eggplant until golden brown, 5 to 10 minutes. Drain on paper towels.

  4. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil; add penne and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender yet firm to the bite, about 11 minutes. Drain and toss with the tomato-basil sauce; divide into 4 serving bowls. Top with eggplant. Sprinkle 1/4 the ricotta and 1/4 the diced pepper over each bowl.

Cook's Notes:

Tortiglioni pasta may be substituted for the penne.

If you can't find salted ricotta, try Pecorino Toscano or Pecorino Romano.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

356 Calories
10g Fat
58g Carbs
12g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 356
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 10g 13%
Saturated Fat 3g 13%
Cholesterol 7mg 2%
Sodium 4572mg 199%
Total Carbohydrate 58g 21%
Dietary Fiber 9g 30%
Total Sugars 10g
Protein 12g
Vitamin C 16mg 82%
Calcium 89mg 7%
Iron 4mg 22%
Potassium 881mg 19%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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