Monday, February 7, 2011


I have a confession- I'm not the biggest pasta fan.
Ok, that's sort of a lie.
I actually love pasta in any way, shape or form. I just don't eat it all that much. Not that I'm low carb or anything- if you've read this blog at all you'd know that.
It's just that I try not to eat too much white flour ( and when I do, I like it in cookie form).

But my husband, who was born and raised in Italy, loves his pasta. He'd eat it every day if I made it. I'm almost positive that before we got married he did eat pasta everyday. What can I say? He's a man who knows what he loves.

So to keep him happy, I make pasta every now and again, but usually I make a whole wheat version for myself (Gian Luca doesn't eat whole wheat pasta- that would be like giving up his Italian passport).

This particular pasta dish makes an appearance in my new book ( a novel with recipes).
I don't know the origin of pasta alla Norma, but I do know that it is a delicious mix of eggplant, onions and tomatoes. If you like eggplant parmigiana, you'll love this one.

Pasta alla Norma
serves two

1/2 pound rigatoni
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
7 Roma tomatoes, diced.
2 cups eggplant, diced
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup grated parmigiano reggiano cheese
1/4 cup grated ricotta salata ( or feta)

1) Bring ten cups of water to boil. Add salt to flavor the pasta.
2) Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add the onions, salt and pepper and cook until translucent.
3) Add the tomatoes and eggplant. Reduce the heat to low and allow the sauce to simmer for 15-20 minutes, adding a few spoonfuls of the pasta water if necessary. (While the sauce is simmering, you can cook the pasta).
4) Once the pasta is cooked, add it to the saucepan, and toss to coat it.
5) Top the pasta with grated parmigiano reggiano and ricotta salata ( or feta)


  1. Oh - I do like this - and I think it would be grand with wheat pasta. And the ricotta salata is the crowning piece.

  2. This is my kind of comfort food... give me a lap rug and a fork and a glass of red wine and I'm the happiest of campers...

  3. Pasta alla norma is so good, especially in the summer when the eggplants are fresh from the garden. But I too, agree with Gian Luca, and haven't mustered the appetite for whole wheat pasta. I know there are newer brands now, so maybe I should give it another go.

  4. I love eggplant (and ricotta salata) so this is the perfect pasta for me!

  5. you know, i don't really get all that excited about pasta either, unless copious cheese and perhaps sausage are involved. i do enjoy a fun shape, though. :) tasty work!

  6. Haven't been here for a bit (somehow your blog got "blipped" from my daily feed) but so fun to be back & LOVE the new kitchen! While this dish looks yummy, I can't wait to try the risotto. I had already bought the specialty rice and just needed a post from Cipolli to find the right recipe! Good to be back and I'm looking forward to morphing more of these great recipes into gluten-free creations.

    Also excited to buy a copy of your new book w/ recipes right in it! Novel (pun intended) idea!