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Pasta Alla Norma With Fresh, Seasonal Produce

Make Pasta Alla Norma with fresh summer produce.

Good food stands the test of time—and this dish is no exception. Dating back to 19th century Italy, it’s rich in taste and history.

Marguerite Henderson shares the history and her recipe for Pasta Alla Norma.

Find more recipes from Marguerite on Instagram, @mangiabene.


Pasta Alla Norma

This dish is a classic Sicilian pasta created in Catania, Sicily. It’s named after the main character, Norma, from the Bellini Opera, “Norma.” Marguerite says you can find it everywhere in Italy, but especially in its hometown of Catania.


  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 ribs celery, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large eggplant, cut into ½” pieces
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped canned San Marzano tomatoes or 2 cups chopped fresh Roma tomatoes
  • 1 cup white wine or vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • ½ cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • Ground black pepper
  • 1 pound fresh ricotta
  • ¼ cup grated Romano or Ricotta Salata cheese
  • 1 pound Sicilian style pasta, cooked “al dente” drained such as penne, bucatini, spaghetti, fusilli, rigatoni


  1. In a large skillet, heat the oil and sauté the onion and celery for 3 minutes; add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
  2. Add the eggplant. Toss to coat with the oil, cook on low heat until eggplant are softened.
  3. Add the tomatoes, oregano, basil, and salt. Cover; simmer for 15 minutes, stirring often.
  4. Add parsley and pepper. Toss the cooked pasta into the sauce and coat evenly over low heat.
  5. Transfer to a serving bowl and top with a dollop of ricotta and grated Romano cheese, if desired.

Serves 4-6

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