Pasta alla Norma is a classic Sicilian dish that originated in Catania, a city located on the eastern coast of Sicily. This simple yet delicious recipe has become a staple of Sicilian cuisine and is popular worldwide.

History of Pasta alla Norma

The origins of this pasta dish can be traced back to the mid-19th century. It is said that the dish was named after the famous opera Norma by Sicilian composer Vincenzo Bellini. The dish was reportedly the favourite of Bellini and was created by a local chef in his honour.

Why is Pasta alla Norma so Popular?

Pasta alla Norma is a simple yet flavourful dish made with a few basic ingredients. It consists of short pasta, tomato sauce, fried eggplant, basil, and ricotta salata. The combination of these ingredients creates a perfect balance of flavors that make it a popular choice for both locals and tourists alike.

Pairing Pasta alla Norma with Sicilian White Wine

The perfect wine pairing for Pasta alla Norma is a Sicilian white wine made from the Catarratto grape. We recommend Vinca's Organic Canned Crisp White Wine. The wine has a fruity aroma and pairs well with the acidity of the tomato sauce in the dish. The wine's light and refreshing taste also complement the richness of the fried eggplant and the saltiness of the ricotta salata.

Recipe for Pasta alla Norma (Serves 2)


  • 200g short pasta (such as rigatoni or penne)
  • 2 medium-sized eggplants, cut into small cubes
  • 1 can of tomato sauce (400g)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • A handful of fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 100g ricotta salata, crumbled


  1. In a large pot, bring salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the minced garlic and sauté for a minute until fragrant.
  3. Add the cubed eggplants and sauté until golden brown and soft, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes.
  4. Pour in the tomato sauce and stir until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Let the sauce simmer for about 10 minutes until it has thickened.
  6. Add the torn basil leaves and stir to combine.
  7. Add the cooked pasta to the skillet and toss until the pasta is coated with the sauce.
  8. Divide the pasta alla Norma between two bowls and top with crumbled ricotta salata. Serve hot and enjoy!

In conclusion, Pasta alla Norma is a simple yet delicious dish that has become a staple of Sicilian cuisine. The combination of flavors and textures makes it a popular choice for both locals and tourists alike. Pairing it with a Sicilian white wine made from the Catarratto grape is the perfect complement to the dish. Try making this traditional Sicilian dish at home and experience the flavors of Sicily and pair it with Vinca's Organic Crisp White


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