Penne alla Norma

A Sicilian classic, the hearty Penne alla Norma (penne Norma-style with eggplant) will have your tastebuds singing! Serves 4.


  • 400g small eggplants, cut into 2cm pieces
  • 100ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 400g can peeled or chopped tomatoes
  • Salt flakes and ground black pepper
  • 400g dried short pasta (like fusilli, penne rigate or rigatoni)
  • Basil leaves, to serve
  • 150g freshly grated ricotta salata
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  1. Preheat the oven to 200˚C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Place the eggplant on the lined tray, drizzle with 50ml oil, season to taste and toss to coat well, then roast for 35-40 minutes or until golden and tender.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the remaining olive oil in a large heavy-based frying pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and stir for 30 seconds or until fragrant.
  4. Add the tomatoes and 200ml water. Half fill the tomato can with water and swirl around to incorporate any tomato clinging to the side, then pour into the sauce. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer.
  5. Reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid and cook gently for 30–40 minutes or until slightly reduced.
  6. Gently stir the roasted eggplant into the sauce.
  7. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Drop in your pasta of choice and stir well. Cook until almost al dente (generally 1 minute less than the cooking time recommended on the packet).
  8. Using a slotted spoon, lift the pasta straight into the pan with the sauce, dragging a little of the cooking water with it. Toss well to coat every single bit of pasta.
  9. Divide between bowls, top with the basil and lashings of ricotta salata.

Source: Cook Like an Italian

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