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Pasta alla Norma

A traditional Italian favorite, originating from Sicily. Pasta combined with tomatoes, eggplant, cheese and basil. 

Servings 4
Author Emily Weeks, RDN, LD


  • 1 lb dried spaghetti pasta
  • 1 Tbsp salt

For the eggplant:

  • 2-3 Tbsp olive oil for frying
  • 1 large, firm eggplant, diced 1"
  • 1 tsp dried oregano

For the sauce:

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • freshly grated Parmesan or Romano for serving
  • fresh basil strips, julienned


  1. Cook spaghetti in a large pot of salted water (use 1 Tbsp salt per pound of pasta). Drain (do not rinse) and set aside. 

  2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil and swirl to coat the bottom. Toss the eggplant with the dried oregano. Add the eggplant to the skillet and fry until both edges are beginning to brown. Remove from heat and set aside. 

  3. Return the skillet to medium heat. Add the olive oil, garlic, and onion powder. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring. Add the cans of diced tomatoes, salt, dried basil, dried oregano and white wine vinegar. Cook for 5-7 minutes, until the tomato juices have begun to thicken. 

  4. Add the fried eggplant and the cooked spaghetti pasta to the sauce. Toss to combine. Serve with a hefty sprinkle of freshly grated cheese and a handful of fresh basil.