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Spicy Pasta Alla Norma

photo: Scott Phillips

Servings: 4

This Sicilian classic, made with sautéed eggplant, tomatoes, basil, and red pepper
flakes, is Italian comfort food at its best.


  • Kosher salt
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil; more as needed
  • 1-1/2 lb. Italian eggplant (about 2 medium), cut into 3/4-inch dice
  • 2 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 lb. ripe tomatoes, cut into 3/4-inch dice (or one 28-oz. can whole peeled tomatoes, with juice)
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 to 1-1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 12 oz. fettuccine
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil; more for garnish
  • 1/3 cup fresh ricotta or 1/4 cup grated Grana Padano or Parmigiano-Reggiano, for serving

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 630
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 260
  • Fat (g): 30
  • Saturated Fat (g): 4
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 4
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 20
  • Sodium (mg): 350
  • Carbohydrates (g): 79
  • Fiber (g): 10
  • Sugar (g): 9
  • Protein (g): 15


  • Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil.
  • Heat 2 Tbs. of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add one quarter of the eggplant and 1/4 tsp. salt, and cook, stirring often, until the eggplant is browned and softened, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Repeat with the remaining eggplant, adding more oil as needed.
  • Heat 1 Tbs. of the oil in the same pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and oregano, and cook, stirring, until heated through, about 2 minutes. Add the eggplant and pepper flakes and toss to combine. Keep warm.
  • Cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking water. Drain the pasta and transfer to a large bowl. Add the eggplant mixture, toss to combine, and add a little of the cooking water if the pasta seems dry. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Serve with a dollop of ricotta or some grated cheese. Drizzle with olive oil and garnish with basil leaves.


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