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Pasta Alla Norma Recipe: Easy And Tasty Sicilian Recipe

Pasta alla norma recipe, an easy recipe with a Sicilian flavor.

Today we are cooking with her majesty, the eggplant, the main ingredient of our recipe.

A poor vegetable by definition used as a base for the everyday cooking of common people.

For a long time it was thought to be the cause of diseases, even psychological ones.

It was said to cause bad moods.

In the western diet it seems that its edibility was accepted only in the1500’s when Carmelite fathers ate it “without any curse”.

Once this superstition was removed, the consumption of this vegetable is daily, from appetizers to main courses and even desserts.

pasta alla norma recipe

But back to us with our recipe for pasta alla norma.

Norm is characteristic of the city of Catania, a first course dedicated to the great musician from Catania, Vincenzo Bellini and his most famous opera “La Norma”.

According to the legend, this dish was born thanks to a company of Melomani (people who love music) who, at the exit of the theater, found the trattoria already closed so they were served an improvised pasta dish made of eggplants, tomato, basil and a handful of salted ricotta cheese.

One of the diners liked it so much to exclaim “it’s a norm” in homage to Bellini’s opera.

And that’s where this fantastic recipe gets its name.

Today we are not going to make the traditional Sicilian recipe, where the eggplants are fried separately, but rather a “lighter” version, but still very good, in fact it has only 430 kcal (per portion) compared to the 613 kcal of the original recipe.

In my opinion, this dish can also be eaten by vegetarians and by removing the salty ricotta cheese it is also suitable for vegans.

But now enough talking and let’s start cooking.

What Goes In The Pasta Alla Norma

These are the main ingredients you need for this recipe.

For the step-by-step directions and measurements, scroll down to our printable recipe card. 

  • Eggplants
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Salted Ricotta Cheese
  • Basil
  • Pasta
  • Salt to taste
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Chilli pepper (optional)

Pasta Alla Norma Recipe: A Lighter Version

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Yield: 2

Pasta Alla Norma Recipe

Pasta Alla Norma Recipe

A delicious pasta that is quick and easy to prepare!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes


  • 2 Large purple eggplants
  • 1 Garlic clove
  • 1 Golden Onion
  • 500g Of cherry tomatoes
  • 80g Salted Ricotta Cheese
  • A handful of basil leaves
  • 300g  pasta
  • Salt to taste
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Chilli pepper (optional)


    1. To begin with the recipe, wash, dry and peel the eggplants and then cut them into cubes.
    2. In a pan pour the extra virgin olive oil and add the garlic and the onion, previously finely chopped.
    3. When they are golden brown, add the eggplant and let it wilt over low heat, then add the basil leaves, peeled tomato, salt and, if you like, a pinch of chopped chilli pepper.
    4. Cover with a lid and cook for about 15-20 minutes over low heat, stirring occasionally low heat, stirring occasionally.
    5. In the meantime, take a pot of water and bring it to a boil.
    6. Do not forget to salt the water, pour in the rigatoni and let it cook for the time stated on its package, then drain it and add it to our sauce.
    7. Transfer the pasta to the plates and sprinkle with the salted ricotta.
    8. For a touch of originality, add a few basil leaves to the plate just before serving the dish to your guests.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 981Total Fat: 32gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 70mgSodium: 1362mgCarbohydrates: 140gFiber: 25gSugar: 34gProtein: 43g

Nutrition is automatically calculated by Nutritionix - please verify all nutrition information independently and consult with a doctor or nutritionist for any and all medical and diet advice.

Did you make this recipe?

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pasta alla norma recipe

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Carrie Carvalho

Monday 7th of March 2022

So tasty, quick veggie pasta dishes like this are my favourite for busy weeknights.


Thursday 3rd of March 2022

Ooh I didn't know aubergines were so much reviled. What an interesting read. And the pasta sounds delicious. Next time I get an aubergine in my veg box, I'm going to try your recipe.

The Bella Vita

Monday 14th of March 2022

Thank you :)


Wednesday 2nd of March 2022

I love eggplant, so this is the type of pasta dish that I enjoy eating. Loved reading your introduction and found the little bit of history very interesting, I can't believe it was thought to cause bad moods.

The Bella Vita

Thursday 3rd of March 2022

Funny superstition!

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