spaghetti alla norma-4508
5 from 1 vote
Teri_Ann Carty Author Photo and title: vegan food creator and food photographer

Simply Pasta is a monthly recipe column in which Best of Vegan contributor Teri-Ann Carty delves into her 20-year experience in fine dining and shares her best practices and recipes for making amazing pasta. In the new installment of Simply Pasta, she introduces us to her version of a classic Sicilian pasta dish: Spaghetti Alla Norma. 

Spaghetti Alla Norma

Simply Pasta – Spaghetti Alla Norma

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 pasta is exactly that.  

A Sicilian Classic, Veganized

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 you can omit it if you want!

Spaghetti Alla Norma

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.


Spaghetti Alla Norma

What you’ll need:

  • Spaghetti 
  • Olive oil
  • Chili flakes
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Eggplant
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Chickpeas
  • Kalamata olives
  • Spinach or arugula
  • Vegan feta or other vegan cheese
  • Sea salt
  • Cracked pepper
Spaghetti Alla Norma

Spaghetti Alla Norma

5 from 1 vote
A veganized version of a classic Sicilian pasta dish: Spaghetti Alla Norma. 
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
Author: Teri-Ann Carty
Servings: 4 -5 servings


  • 400 grams Spaghetti
  • 3 tbsp olive oil more to garnish
  • 1 pinch chili flakes
  • 1/2 onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 eggplant cubed salted and pat dry
  • 10 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives
  • Fistful spinach or arugula
  • 1/2 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 the 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, cooked eggplant, 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.


Find more of Teri-Ann’s recipes on her website and Instagram (@terianncarty).
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


Spaghetti Alla Norma Pinterest Graph

Recipe, text, and photography by Teri-Ann Carty.

A picture of Teri-Ann Carty next to her bio, which reads: Teri-Ann is a food photographer, recipe developer, and yoga teacher who lives and works in Toronto, Canada. Teri-Ann adopted a vegan lifestyle 9 years ago soon after she got sober and broke free from debilitating alcohol and drug addiction. She now spends most of her days developing recipes, styling dishes, and shooting photographs for numerous clients and also for herself as she builds her personal brand. Her passion is being behind the camera but she also teaches yoga in Toronto. You can follow her on social media at @terianncarty.

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