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Pasta Alla Norma

Easy Pasta Alla Norma

  • Author: Liz Thomson
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Pasta
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian


Pasta Alla Normal is a traditional Sicilian dish made with pasta, eggplant, tomatoes, grated cheese, and basil. This recipe uses the microwave to speed up cooking times and minimize the need for oil. If you love eggplant, this pasta dish is for you!

This recipe was adapated from America’s Test Kitchen.


  • 1 medium eggplant (about 12 oz) diced into 1/2″ cubes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (plus more for pasta water)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 12 oz marinara sauce (I recommend Rao’s tomato basil)
  • 8 oz whole wheat pasta
  • 1 oz Ricotta Salata, Pecorino Romano, or Parmesan, shredded
  • Basil, for garnish


  1. In a large bowl, toss the eggplant with 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
  2. Line the surface of large microwave-safe plate with double layer of paper coffee filters and spread eggplant in even layer over the filters.
  3. Microwave the eggplant on high, uncovered, until mostly dry to the touch and slightly shriveled, about 8 minutes, tossing once halfway through to ensure that eggplant cooks evenly.
  4. Transfer eggplant back into the bowl, and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil.
  5. Transfer eggplant to a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and cook, stirring every 1½ to 2 minutes, until browned and tender, about 8 minutes.
  6. Add garlic and continue to cook for 2 minutes.
  7. Add pasta sauce and cook for 2-3 minutes until heated.
  8. Meanwhile, bring 4 quarts water to boil. Add pasta and 1 tablespoon salt and cook until al dente. Drain pasta, then add to the now-empty bowl.
  9. Top the pasta with the tomato and eggplant mixture.
  10. Stir until evenly coated then divide into bowls and top with cheese and basil.


To speed up the process, begin by bringing a pot of water to a boil. Add pasta after eggplant is finished cooking in the microwave.

Keywords: Easy Pasta Alla Norma