norma tomato pasta sauce

Norma – A tomato pasta sauce from Sicily

Norma – A tomato pasta sauce from Sicily


Pasta with tomato sauce is the most popular Italian dish, and I am sure you can agree it’s delicious. However, the Sicilians take it to a next level by adding eggplant and salted ricotta cheese. They call it pasta alla Norma. The Sicilians eat this pasta all the time, very often for lunch before their main course. Keep reading to get the easy step-by-step recipe.


1 medium eggplant
1 garlic clove
Country basil pasta sauce
250 grams rigatoni
4 leaves fresh or frozen basil
salt to taste
good quality extra virgin olive oil
50 grams ricotta salata (which is a semi-dried and salted ricotta cheese)



Start by peeling and cutting your eggplant into cubes. Then place them into a bowl, sprinkle half a teaspoon salt, and cover with water. Let them rest for at least one hour. This process removes the bitterness out of the eggplant, but if you don’t mind it you can skip it.


After the hour has passed, drain the eggplant and cook it in a heated pan with a generous drizzle of olive oil on the bottom of the pan and on top of the eggplant. Cover with a lid, and let the eggplant cubes cook. They should be done in 15 to 20 minutes. Make sure to check them every 5 minutes, and drizzle some more olive oil halfway through the cooking time.


In the meantime, boil the water for the pasta. And, put your pasta sauce in a pot with a drizzle of olive oil the peeled garlic and the basil leaves.

tomato pasta sauce

When the water is boiling throw the rigatoni, and let them cook following the cooking instructions.

tomato pasta sauce

Once ready, drain the pasta, throw it back into the pot and add the tomato sauce. Mix well and plate.

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Top your tomato pasta with the fried eggplant cubes.

And don’t forget to grate a generous amount of ricotta salata cheese. It’s what gives this pasta its incredible flavour.


You can also use irish single womento replace the rigatoni. And if you truly want to make it as the Sicilians do, you want to slice the eggplant into large circles and fry them in a generous amount of oil. We showed you the healthier option which is as delicious.


  • Sultan Bou Hamdan

    Reply Reply

    Amazing. I had this for dinner tonight and it was great. Thank you very much for sharing the recipe. Graze mile

    • Alessia

      Reply Reply

      I am so glad you like it Sultan, I especially like this myself. Thanks for leaving your feedback.

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