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Pasta alla Norma

4 Servings

45 minutes

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This classic Sicilian dish of eggplant and pasta in tomato sauce is said to take its name from a 19th century Bellini opera. The eggplant is usually fried before being added to the sauce, but we opted to roast it to concentrate its flavor and condense its porous texture. The eggplant is in the oven for about 30 minutes unattended; use that time to prep the other ingredients, cook the pasta and simmer the tomatoes to make the sauce. Ricotta salata is a firm cheese with a milky, salty flavor. Do not substitute fresh ricotta; a mild feta is a more appropriate substitute.




Don't forget to reserve about ½ cup of the pasta cooking water before draining. You'll need the starchy, salted liquid to help bring together the eggplant, pasta and sauce during the final simmer.

45 minutes


  • 1

    pound eggplant, peeled and cut into ¾-inch cubes

  • Kosher salt


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Pamela W.
July 15, 2023
his is my faThis is my favorite recipe! I have been making it for years. Initially I was unable to get ricotta salata. I did not like the feta substitution so used Parm of Pecorino instead. I was very happy with ricotta salata when I moved and could find riccota salata so I made this made it even more frequently. Wegmans was out today, fortunately they recommended Sole! cotija which worked beautifully. I find this dish reheats very well if you save extra pasta water and use a scant amount to loosen the cold pasta before you warm it up.
I have been making this for years. initially I could not find ricotta salata and did not like the feta substitute so used Parm or Pecorino instead. I moved and could find Ricotta salata and made this even more frequently. Wegmans was out today but fortunately they recommended Sole! Cotija which worked beautifully. I find this dish reheats well if you loosen the cold pasta with some pasta water before you warm it.
Felix P.

Great recipe! Easy to make, flavorful, and superior than your competitor...!

Elizabeth S.

Amazing how such a simple recipe with so few ingredients can be so wonderully flavor packed. Complete crowd pleaser!

Tricia S.

This is a recipe for summer, when the basil plants outside are going gangbusters. I live in the boonies, so no fancy ricotta salata, but fresh mozzarella can be found and works here to shred.