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Pasta alla Norma is a traditional pasta dish originating in Sicily, Italy. This classic recipe remains a favourite classic due to its simple ingredients and method, yet delicious flavour that comes from a blend of deep-fried eggplants, tomato sauce, ricotta salata, basil and extra virgin olive oil. According to historians, the name of the dish originated when Italian writer Nino Martoglio yelled “This is a real ‘Norma!’”—he was comparing the pasta to Vincenzo Bellini’s opera Norma—one of the most influential operatic pieces of the 17th century. 

*Best served with Ruffino Modus Toscana IGT*

Taste profile: A rich, layered red with lots of plum, chocolate and walnut character. It's full-bodied with chewy yet soft tannins. Flavorful finish.

 

Ingredients

1 box Barilla® Penne Rigate

1 medium eggplant

1/2 cup flour

3/4 cup ricotta salata (aged salted ricotta)

1 14-oz can crushed tomatoes

1 small onion

4 tbsp. EVOO

6 basil leaves

1 clove garlic

Salt and pepper to taste

Olive oil for frying as needed

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Instructions

  • Dice eggplant, season with a pinch of salt and set aside for about 20 minutes to purge any bitter juices. Dredge in flour.
  • Heat enough oil in a pan over high heat to completely cover the eggplant. Fry eggplant until golden, remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
  • Chop onion and garlic. Heat EVOO in a large pan over medium heat and sauté onion and garlic.
  • Add eggplant, crushed tomato, salt and pepper and cook for about 15 minutes.
  • Boil pasta according to package directions. Drain and toss with the prepared eggplant sauce.
  • Garnish with basil and grated ricotta. Serve hot.
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