Pasta Alla Norma

A bowl of Pasta Alla Norma

Pasta Alla Norma is a classic Italian pasta recipe, and except for the glossy purple eggplant, this easy 30 minute meatless meal is made entirely from pantry staples.

A bowl of Pasta Alla Norma with napkin and glass of wine

Of course, in summer, so there’s nothing stopping you from making this with fresh ripe tomatoes, but during the rest of the year I use a good quality canned. I love the combination of pasta and eggplant. You hardly ever see this dish on menus, but it’s fantastic. Especially when you cook the eggplant the way I do…without any oil! I saute it in a hot dry skillet, which intensifies the flavor and keeps the eggplant firm.

Pasta Alla Norma 2

This is a 30-minute meal that doesn’t taste like one. It’s also a great vegetarian option if you are looking for meatless meals to please meat lovers…eggplants are a little bit like mushrooms in that they have a ‘meaty’ texture and earthy flavor that gives a heartiness to meatless dishes. I highly recommend it.

Pasta alla Norma in the pan

Since most of us usually have pasta in our cupboards, it pays to have a handful of easy recipes to turn to on busy nights. Here at tvfgi I’ve got lots of other quick pasta ideas for you, here are a few of my faves ~

A bowl of Pasta Alla Norma


A bowl of Pasta Alla Norma
5 from 3 votes

Pasta Alla Norma

Pasta Alla Norma is a classic Italian pasta recipe, and except for the glossy purple eggplant, this easy 30 minute meatless meal is made entirely from pantry staples.
Course dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Yield 6 servings
Author Sue Moran


  • 3/4 lb fusilli corkscrew pasta
  • 1 large eggplant
  • olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 red onion chopped
  • 1 15 oz can of good quality chopped tomatoes I like to use fire roasted
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine or water
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • salt and fresh cracked black pepper


  • freshly grated Italian hard cheese Parmesan, Romano, etc
  • lots of fresh parsley or basil


  • Cook the pasta in well salted water according to the package instructions.
  • Wash and slice the eggplant into small cubes. Heat a skillet over medium heat until it is hot and add the eggplant, dry, to the pan. I like to saute eggplant this way because it intensifies the flavor and the eggplant doesn't get soggy from absorbing too much oil. Keep the eggplant moving while you saute so it doesn't stick to the pan. When it has taken on some color is and beginning to soften, remove it to a plate.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of oil to the same pan and saute the onions, red pepper flakes, and garlic for several minutes until the onion starts to soften.
  • Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, wine, and vinegar to the pan, along with the eggplant and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer.
  • Season the sauce with salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste.
  • Toss with the just cooked pasta and adjust the seasonings, if necessary. Serve hot, topped with lots of freshly grated cheese and a generous sprinkling of parsley.
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.


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    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    Ruth Justice
    September 24, 2018 at 9:54 am

    Thank you for this beautiful eggplant dish. Eggplant is one of my favorite foods, but very few recipes to cook it in.
    Do you have anymore recipes like this? Love to see them.

    • Reply
      September 24, 2018 at 11:07 am

      Go to the PASTA section of my recipe index, Ruth, there are lots of great ideas there.

  • Reply
    July 25, 2015 at 7:08 am

    5 stars
    Thanks for this recipe!
    I’ve added it to the Farm Fresh Feasts Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient, a resource for folks like me who love to eat from the farm share.
    I appreciate your help in making this index better!

    • Reply
      July 25, 2015 at 3:21 pm

      Thanks so much Kirsten, love your site!

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    August 27, 2014 at 11:43 pm

    This pasta dish looks fabulous! Such a great meatless option! 🙂

  • Reply
    August 17, 2014 at 6:48 pm

    Love the eggplant method too, but what I really love is the new photo of you! Just noticed it. Nice photo.

    • Reply
      August 18, 2014 at 9:18 am

      Thanks Kate!

  • Reply
    August 16, 2014 at 9:00 pm

    It looks amazing 🙂 Thanks for sharing the recipe.

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