Pasta alla norma

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Woman's hand pouring rigatoni pasta in the white colander from sauce pan

Pasta alla norma

Ingredients – Serves 4

  • 2 medium aubergines, cut into medium dice
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 400g tomato passata
  • 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 4 sprigs of fresh basil (reserve some for garnish)
  • 1 sprig of fresh thyme
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • Salt and ground pepper to taste
  • 250g ricotta salata coarsely grated – reserve some for garnish
  • 500g rigatoni or other large-tubed pasta


In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil until it’s hot.

Turn the heat to medium, add the onion and garlic and cook the mixture until it’s soft but not browned.

Add the chilli flakes. Add the aubergines – and watch as they absorb all the oil. Let it get soft and lightly browned while you stir it regularly for 8 to 10 minutes.

Add the tomato passata and the basil and thyme sprigs and bring the sauce to a boil. Simmer it for 15 minutes, uncovered, and season it with salt and pepper.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Add 2 Tbsp of coarse salt. Cook the pasta until it’s “al dente”.

Drain it thoroughly and pour the hot pasta into the pan with the sauce. Add the ricotta salata and heat it through.

Stir the pasta well and scoop it into warm pasta bowls. Sprinkle it with a little more ricotta salata and basil and serve it hot.

Drizzle a little more olive oil over it for good measure.

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