Penne alla Norma

Panne alla Norma
Prep Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
20 mins

This classic Sicilian pasta dish combines eggplant, tomatoes, and basil. Put a dollop of ricotta cheese on each plate to stir in for a creamy consistency.


  • 1 pound penne rigate

  • Coarse salt and ground pepper

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced

  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper

  • 1 large eggplant, cut into ¾-inch chunks

  • 1 ½ pounds plum tomatoes, cored and cut into ½-inch chunks

  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste

  • ½ cup torn fresh basil, plus more for garnish

  • ¾ cup ricotta cheese


  1. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente, according to package instructions. Drain pasta; return to pot.

  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and crushed red pepper; cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes.

  3. Add eggplant to skillet; season generously with salt and pepper. Cover, and cook until eggplant begins to release juices, about 5 minutes. Uncover; cook, stirring, until tender, 3 to 4 minutes (if bottom of pan browns too much, add a few tablespoons water, and scrape with spoon).

  4. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, and 1/4 cup water to skillet; cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes.

  5. Toss sauce and basil with pasta; gently reheat if necessary. Top each serving with a spoonful of ricotta, and garnish with more basil.

Cook's Notes

Crushed red pepper adds spice to this dish. Vary the amount according to taste.

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