Recipe of the month – Ottolenghi’s Pasta alla Norma

Having been gifted Yotam Ottolenghi's new cookbook SIMPLE over Christmas, we are loving all of the recipes in this book.

Pasta alla Norma

Good quality, seasonal ingredients are all you need to knock up some fantastic tasting dishes. This pasta dish not only tastes delicious but can be made ahead and uses 10 ingredients or less. It can also be made vegan by substituting spaghetti for courgetti and drop the pecorino – either way it tastes delicious!

You will need

3 Aubergines
120ml Olive Oil
5 Garlic Cloves, thinly sliced
1-2 mild dried chillies
2 x 400g tins of Plum Tomatoes
5 large Oregano Sprigs
1 tsp Caster Sugar
300g Spaghetti
45g Mature Pecorino Romano
20g Basil Leaves, torn
Salt & Black Pepper


Preheat the oven to 220C fan.

Using a peeler and working from top to bottom of each aubergine, shave off long alternating strips of peel so that they look striped, like zebras. Cut widthways into 1cm thick slices and place in a bowl with 75ml of oil, 3/4 teaspoon of salt and a generous grind of paper. Mix well, then spread out on two large parchment-lined baking trays. Roast for 30-35 minutes, until dark golden-brown. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

Put 2 tablespoons of oil into a saute pan and place on a medium high heat. Add the garlic and chillies and fry for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly, until the garlic is golden brown. Add the tomatoes, oregano, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a grind of pepper. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook for 10 minutes, until the sauce is thick. Remove the oregano sprigs and stir in the aubergine. Set aside.

Cook the pasta according to packet instructions and once al dente, drain and retain some cooking water.

Add the spaghetti to the sauce and mix well, adding two thirds of the pecorino and basil, add a few tablespoons of the cooking water if the sauce has become too thick.

Divide between four shallow bowls, then top with the remaining pecorino, basil and a tablespoon of oil. Serve and enjoy!!

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