Pic of Pasta Alla Norma

Pasta Alla Norma

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Vegetarian mains

Pasta Alla Norma

Main Serves 5 35 min
A classic Sicilian recipe is supposedly named after 'Norma', an opera by Bellini. This is healthy, vegetarian and – apart from salting the aubergines – very quick to make.


  • 1 large aubergine
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • olive oil for frying
  • 750g ripe tomatoes, skinned, deseeded and chopped
  • 400g spaghetti
  • 3 tbsp Pecorino or Parmesan, grated, to serve
  • small handful fresh basil, torn
  • salt and pepper


Prep time: 15 min
Cooking time: 20 min
  • Step 1

    Slice the aubergine into 1cm discs and cut into 1cm wide strips. Spread out in a colander and sprinkle with salt. Leave to drain for an hour, then rinse and pat dry.
  • Step 2

    Fry the garlic gently in 4 tablespoons olive oil until beginning to colour. Add the tomatoes, salt and pepper and simmer for 15 minutes or so to make a thick tomato sauce. Re-heat when needed.
  • Step 3

    Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and add the spaghetti. Boil until al dente. While the spaghetti is cooking, heat a generous layer of olive oil in a wide frying-pan, and fry the aubergine until browned, in 2 batches if necessary. Drain on kitchen paper.
  • Step 4

    Drain the spaghetti and tip into a large serving bowl. Add the hot tomato sauce, cheese, and the basil. Toss quickly. Top with the fried aubergine and serve with extra cheese to hand round.