This recipe is for a delicious, flavorful yet light Pasta Alla Norma. This pasta comes together in 30 minutes, is easy to make and only requires a few key ingredients. This pasta is perfect to serve when you want a delicious, warm, flavorful meal that stills feels light and fresh. It is both vegetarian, gluten, grain free and low carb.
I love a good tomato based pasta! It my all time favorite pasta sauces to make. You really can’t go wrong with a good tomato based pasta sauce and they are so easy and convenient to make. Pasta Alla Norma is a Sicilian pasta dish using aubergine and tomato sauce as the main ingredients. Im a huge fan of aubergine hence needed to try and make my own version of a Pasta Alla Norma. This pasta dish is both flavorful, warming and super delicious. Yet it feels very light and fresh at the same time. I made my pasta using zucchini pasta instead of regular pasta, and I really love how it makes the dish feel even more fresh, light and really lets the pasta sauce be the main star of the dish. A Pasta Alla Norma include ricotta Salta. Ricotta Salata is nothing like regular ricotta. A ricotta salata is a dry, firm and salty cheese that is ideal for slicing, crumbling and grating. It can be hard to find in regular stores, so I would recommend you to try a cheese store or a store with a big cheese assortment. And if you can’t find it you can sub it for pecorino instead. This dish is both perfect to make for a weeknight meal or a cozy weekend dinner. It is both vegetarian, gluten, grain free and low carb.
A few tips:
- Before you start to cook the aubergine I would recommend you to let the aubergine sit in salt for 10-15 minutes. This drains it on water and also give it a less bitter taste. But if you’re in a hurry this step can be skipped.
- Drain and rinse the aubergine well from the salt before frying it.
- Also make sure to pat dry the aubergine. You don’t want it to cook in the pan.
- Let the aubergine fry until it’s really soft, tender and golden brown.
- Use a good quality tomato sauce when making the pasta sauce. It makes the biggest difference.
- Also use good quality tomatoes. Don’t use cheep tasteless once. That will add nothing to the dish. The tomatoes should be sweet and juicy, it add such a wonderful and sweet flavor to the sauce.
- I love to shimmer my tomato sauce for as long as possible (40 minutes or so). Really making sure that the water is reduced so that you don’t end up with a watery pasta sauce. But if you don’t have the time you can let it shimmer for 15 minutes in total. Making sure everything is warm and that the flavors have come out and been absorbed by the sauce.
- I used ricotta salata as in an original Sicilian recipe. But if you can’t find it or don’t want to buy ricotta salata then you can replace it with pecorino or even parmesan.
- I used zucchini pasta in my dish, but you can of course use regular pasta as well.
Ingredients for this Pasta Alla Norma:
- Red chili (optional)
- Cherry tomatoes
- Fresh basil
- Ricotta salata
Other recipes you might like:
- Salsiccia Pasta with Capers (Gluten Free)
- Seafood Pasta (Gluten, Dairy, Free & Low Carb)
- Zucchini Pappardelle with Tomato & Vegetable Sauce
- Vegan Zucchini & Ricotta Rolls (Gluten, Dairy, Grain Free & Low Carb)
Pasta Alla Norma (Vegetarian, Gluten, Grain Free & Low Carb)
- 2-3 Garlic cloves minced
- 1/2-1 Red chili (optional) minced
- 1 Eggplant diced
- 10 Cherry tomatoes divided in two
- 1 can Tomato sauce
- A bunch of Fresh basil + more to garnish roughly chopped
- Salt, to taste
- Ricotta salata
- 1 Zucchini thinly sliced and cut into stripes
- Add the diced aubergine in a bowl and add some salt to it. Mix to make sure all pieces are covered in salt. Set aside and let it rest for 10-15 minutes.
- Meanwhile mince the garlic and red chili (is using) and cut the tomatoes in half.
- Preheat a nonstick pan over medium heat with some olive oil.
- Rinse the aubergine under water and then pat dry using a paper towl.
- Add the aubergine to the pan and fry until soft and golden brown. Approximately 10 minutes.
- Remove the aubergine from the pan and add garlic and red chili instead. Fry for 2-3 minutes until the garlic starts to get soft and golden brown.
- Add the cherry tomatoes and fry for 1 minutes then add the tomato sauce and fresh basil. Let it shimmer for a few minutes.
- Next add the fried aubergine and shimmer for another 10 minutes (or more if you have time). Taste to see if some salt is needed.
- Meanwhile slice the zucchini using a mandolin. Then place the slices on a cutting board and cut lengthwise into 1/3 cm thick slice.
- When the pasta sauce is ready add the zucchini pasta. Stir to combine and make sure all pieces of the zucchini pasta is covered in sauce. Turn off the heat.
- Place the pasta in two bowls and top with ricotta salata (or sub for pecorino).