Pasta alla Norma


Prep time: 
10 minutes
Cooking time: 
30 minutes


An Italian classic: tomato, penne and aubergine, topped with fresh basil. This simple recipe is veggie friendly and low in calories


  • 1 small aubergine, cut into 3cm cubes
  • 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, crushed
  • a pinch dried chilli flakes
  • 400g tin plum tomatoes
  • 150g penne
  • 20g parmesan (or veggie alternative), finely grated
  • a handful of leaves basil


  1. Put the aubergine into a large bowl and toss with the olive oil. Heat a non-stick frying pan over a high heat and tip in the aubergine. Cook, tossing regularly, for 5 minutes or until the aubergine is charred. Tip into a bowl.
  2. Turn down the heat and fry the onion with a splash of water for 5 minutes or until translucent (add a little water if it starts to catch). Add the garlic and chilli, and cook for 2 minutes, then tip in the tomatoes and ½ a tin of water. Season well and use a masher to break up the large tomato pieces. Tip the aubergine back in and simmer gently for 20-30 minutes or until thickened and the aubergine is soft.
  3. Cook the pasta following pack instructions, then drain well, reserving some of the cooking water. Tip the pasta into the sauce and toss well, adding a little pasta water, if it’s too thick. Add ¾ of the cheese and toss well. Divide between bowls then top with the remaining cheese and the basil.


Photo Credit: Jonny Hughes @jonny2love
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