Pasta alla norma

Try this easy version of an alla norma, which uses roast aubergine instead of fried. It’s then tossed with spaghetti and a rich tomato and basil sauce

  • Prep:10 mins
    Cook:1 hrs
    plus draining
  • Serves 4
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 517
  • fat 13g
  • saturates 2g
  • carbs 79g
  • sugars 0g
  • fibre 10g
  • protein 15g
  • salt 1.7g


  • 2 aubergines, cut into 3cm chunks
  • 1 heaped tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • pinch chilli flakes
  • 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 350g spaghetti (egg-free, if needed)
  • small bunch basil, shredded, plus a few leaves to serve
  • 1 heaped tbsp capers
  • ricotta salata or parmesan, finely grated, to serve (optional)


  1. Toss the aubergines with the salt, then tip into a colander set over a bowl for 30 mins, to extract any moisture.

  2. Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a casserole dish or saucepan. Tip in the onion and a pinch of salt, and cook over a low heat for 10 mins. Add the garlic and chilli, and cook for 1 min. Tip in the tomatoes and sugar, and bring to the simmer. Cook, uncovered, for 20 mins, stirring occasionally. Heat the oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7.

  3. Pat the aubergine dry with kitchen paper, then toss with the remaining oil. Spread out on a baking sheet and roast for 25-30 mins until softened and golden around the edges. Meanwhile, cook the pasta following pack instructions, reserving 100ml of the cooking water.

  4. Stir the aubergine into the sauce with the basil and capers. Season to taste, then toss the spaghetti in the pan with the sauce and a splash of the pasta water. Divide between four bowls and top with the ricotta and extra basil, if using.

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