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Article: How to Make Pasta Alla Norma

How to Make Pasta Alla Norma

How to Make Pasta Alla Norma

Looking for an easy pasta recipe that tastes amazing? We’ve got you covered!

Say goodbye to pasta sauce from a can, Pasta Alla Norma is an easy to make, authentic Sicilian pasta that’s one of a kind. This pasta recipe comes with many twists (and it’s not just the fusilli): our recipe contains eggplant. Yes, eggplant!

For all the moms who struggle to get the kids to eat new vegetables, here’s your secret weapon for sneaking in those extra nutrients!

Pasta Alla Norma is a colorful dish that tastes as good as it looks (we promise). 

With the red of the tomato sauce, the white of mozzarella cheese, and green of fresh basil leaves, you’ll swear you’re at a traditional Italian restaurant in the comfort of your own home.

The spiciness of the sauce, the richness of tomatoes, and the soft silkiness of eggplant make a great combination. It’s like a match made in heaven. 

Noodle Recommendations For This Recipe

The key to an amazing Pasta Alla Norma is the size of noodles that you choose to use. It’s known for using short-cut pasta noodles for its aesthetic and taste.

For this recipe, we recommend you use one of the following noodles…

  1. Fusilli - This is our favorite and also is the pasta we used in the example images. So yummy!
  2. Macaroni - Another recommended pasta type for this recipe, it is also one of the options that is easier and cheaper to acquire than others.
  3. Paccheri (also known as rigatoni) - This soft pasta is the perfect texture for this pasta and will make your eggplant and tomato-y pasta melt in your mouth with delicious goodness.

Get your water boiling - it’s time to cook some delicious, comforting pasta.

Pasta Alla Norma in a blue bowl ready to serve for dinner.

Pasta Alla Norma Recipe

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Servings: 4 people


  • 350 g short pasta of your choice
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 eggplant in cubes
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 2 tsp. chopped garlic
  • 1 (540ml) can of diced tomatoes
  • ¾ cup cubed mozzarella
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tsp. chili flake
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Want to make your sauce with Red Peppers instead? Try Arrabiata Sauce with Roasted Red Peppers instead.


Step 1

In a pot of salted boiling water, cook the pasta until al dente. While the pasta cooks, dice the eggplant and mince the onion.

When the pasta is done, take 1/4 a cup of the pasta water and set aside.

Drain the rest of the water off of the pasta and reserve for later.

Chopped up eggplant in a bowl covered with olive oil.

Step 2

To create your sauce, in a skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Cook the diced eggplant for 3 minutes. Next, add the onion and garlic and cook for 1 minute.

Step 3

Add the tomatoes to your skillet and cover. Let them simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes or until they are soft.

Next, add your 1/4 cup of pasta water that you set aside in step one. Allow your mixture to simmer until to desired consistency.

A homemade tomato pasta sauce in a skillet.

Step 4

Stir in the pasta, mozzarella, and basil.

Step 5

Sprinkle with more fresh basil and chili flakes if desired. Serve and enjoy!

Tip: How to Perfect Your Pasta Alla Norma

The secret to making the best Pasta Alla Norma is to fry the eggplant in minimal oil. You might know already that eggplant absorbs oil like a sponge.

Therefore, make sure that you use oil sparingly. If you want to keep an eye on your calories, you can also try baking or roasting the eggplant instead.

Pasta Alla Norma close up of the bowl.

Buon Appetito!

The subtle scent of fresh basil, the richness of ripe tomatoes, and the aromatic aroma of fried eggplant will fill your home, inviting everyone to the dinner table.

Top the casserole dish with basil leaves and a sprinkle of chili flakes. You can also garnish the dish with some crispy capers to add a twisty crunch to the pasta. Enjoy!

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