Rigatoni alla Norma Recipe (Pasta With Fried Eggplant & Ricotta)

A very tasty pasta dish inspired by Sicilian cuisine in Italy.. Originated in Catania Sicily, pasta alla norma can be made with any type of short shaped pasta's like penne, rotini, rigatoni and fusilli.

The most popular and traditional pasta used for this dish is rigatoni's. This eggplant pasta dish is fairly easy to make and delicious.. 

It is made with crushed peeled tomatoes, fried eggplant and topped with grated salted ricotta cheese. Historians believe that the "Pasta alla Norma" dish was created by a Sicilian chef who served it at Vinzenco Bellini's "Norma" Opera as a gesture of honor.

Rigatoni alla Norma Recipe Ingredients

Cookware Needed For This Recipe

Ingredients For This Recipe
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • Rigatoni Pasta (320g)
  • Peeled Tomatoes (800g)
  • Eggplant (300g)
  • Sunflower Oil
  • Fresh Basil
  • Shredded Salted Ricotta For Topping (If you can't find salted ricotta you can use shredded Feta cheese or Pecorino Romano)

How To Make Rigatoni Alla Norma

1. Pour to 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan on medium heat, add two whole or chopped garlic cloves.. Add 800g of peeled tomatoes.. Note: You can crush the tomatoes with your hands in a mixing bowl before you add them in the frying pan.. I prefer crushing them in chunks while cooking in the pan with a spatula or fork. Bring tomato sauce to a boil then reduce heat to low, cover with a lid and let it cook for 30 minutes.. 

preparing the norma sauce

2. While the sauce is cooking, slice an eggplant into little cubes or small rectangular cubes.. Deep fry them in sunflower oil until they are browned. Add enough oil so the eggplants float.. Once they are brown in color place in a plate with scott towel to drain the excess oil and add salt to taste.

frying the eggplants

3. After 30 minutes take the lid off the frying pan with the tomato sauce, turn the heat off then add some eggplant pieces (not too much) and some fresh basil in the sauce. Let the sauce simmer with the eggplant until the rigatoni's are cooked.. 

eggplant, basil, tomato sauce

4. In a pot with already boiling water add half a tablespoon of salt then toss the rigatoni pasta into the the boiling water.. The rigatoni should be ready after 8 to 10 minutes. 

When the rigatoni's are cooked you can either drain them in a colander then add them immediately to the pan with the sauce or you can take them with a spider strainer from the pot to sauce. 

5. Once the rigatoni's are in the pan with the tomato eggplant sauce, you can stir mix slowly until the pasta is well blended with the sauce. 

rigatoni with norma sauce

6. To plate this pasta dish scoop the desired amount of pasta and place it the center of a plate, then add more fried eggplant cubes on top and drizzle shredded ricotta cheese for the final topping.. Congratulations!! You just made "Pasta alla Norma". Buon Appetito!

pasta alla norma dish

You May Also Like

Comments