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Simply Pasta Spaghetti alla Norma

This high protein version of Spaghetti alla Norma leaves you satisfied! Grab a bunch of fresh basil, cherry tomatoes and good olive oil.

Most pasta dishes are made with simple ingredients.  The noodle is a vehicle to carry the flavours. Keeping things clean, simple and direct is the name of the game and this month’s  SIMPLY PASTA RECIPE is exactly that.

There are many variations of this classic Sicilian pasta dish but the main ingredients are eggplant, tomatoes and cheese. Ricotta salata is normally used but since we are VEGANO over here I opted for vegan cubed feta; it worked out perfectly. The traditionalist would use Sicilian eggplant which is shaped like a purple globe but I used a regular eggplant and it worked just as well. Taking the time to salt the eggplant to draw out the moisture is good for the dish but not necessary IF you’re in a rush. I added chickpeas (not normally in Norma) because I love adding a protein source whenever I can but omit oil you want!

If you are lucky enough to have a garden with fresh cherry tomatoes, basil and perhaps even eggplant this is the perfect summer dish. If you happen to have an air-fryer I strongly recommend using it to cook your eggplant to keep the oven OFF. It cuts down on cook time but also doesn’t create any extra heat in your already warm kitchen.


Simply Pasta Spaghetti alla Norma

Teri-Ann Carty
This high protein version of Spaghetti alla Norma will leave you feeling satisfied. Grab a bunch of fresh basil, local cherry tomatoes and good olive oil.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Servings 4


  • air fryer
  • stove
  • large pot or dutch oven


  • 400 grams spaghetti
  • 3 tbsp olive oil (more to garnish)
  • 1 pinch of chili flakes
  • ½ onion (diced)
  • 2 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1 eggplant cubed (salted and pat dry)
  • 10 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup chickpeas (cooked)
  • ½ cup kalamata olives
  • fistful spinach or arugula
  • ½ cup cubed vegan feta or other vegan cheese
  • sea salt and cracked pepper


  • Wash eggplant and cut into inch cubes. Place eggplant into a colander and generously sprinkle salt. Allow the eggplant to hang for 20-30 minutes. In the meantime bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt the water. Lightly rinse the eggplant and pat dry with a clean kitchen towel. Preheat the Air-fryer for 3 minutes, coat eggplant with 1 tbsp olive oil and air-fry for 15 minutes, shaking basket half way.
  • Cook pasta until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water before draining.
  • Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a large pot or dutch oven. Add onion and chili flakes and cook until the onion is translucent. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add in tomatoes, chickpeas and olives. Toss to combine. Add in cooked pasta, spinach and cubed feta toss to coat. Add in olives, fresh basil and more cheese if desired.
  • Transfer to bowls and season with salt, cracked pepper, chili flakes and a drizzle of your best olive oil.
Keyword air fryer, alla norma, cooked, dairy free, gluten free, pasta, plant based, spaghetti, vegan

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