Chefs' Recipes

Mitch Orr's fusilli alla Norma

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for fusilli alla Norma by Mitchell Orr from 121BC, Sydney.

By Mitchell Orr
  • 30 mins preparation
  • 20 mins cooking
  • Serves 6 - 8
  • Print
Fusilli alla Norma
"Alla Norma is a Sicilian dish, named after the opera Norma by Vincenzo Bellini. It's traditionally made with ricotta salata but I like to use mozzarella - I prefer its melty stretchy messiness," says Orr. "Though that means it's no longer really alla Norma, but don't tell anyone. Fusilli is my favourite dried pasta, but use whatever you like."
Get Mitch's basic pasta recipe.


  • 160 ml extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 800 gm canned whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 large eggplant (about 500gm), cut into 2cm cubes
  • 600 gm dried fusilli
  • 1 cup (loosely packed) basil, coarsely torn, plus extra to garnish
  • 2 buffalo mozzarella balls (125gm each), coarsely torn


  • 1
    Heat 50ml oil in a large saucepan over high heat, then reduce heat to medium, add garlic and cook until golden (1-2 minutes). Add tomatoes and oregano, season to taste and cook, breaking down tomatoes with a spoon, until sauce thickens (5-10 minutes).
  • 2
    Heat half the remaining oil in a large, deep frying pan over medium-high heat and fry half the eggplant until golden and tender (5-7 minutes). Drain on absorbent paper or in a colander and repeat with remaining oil and eggplant. Add to tomato sauce and keep warm.
  • 3
    Cook fusilli in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until al dente (10-15 minutes), then drain, reserving a little pasta water.
  • 4
    Add basil, mozzarella and fusilli to tomato sauce and stir to combine. If the sauce is a bit dry, loosen it with a little reserved pasta water. Serve drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil and scattered with basil.


Drink Suggestion: A slightly chilled, fleshy fruit, chalky, mineral-driven light red from Sicily. A 2012 Cos Frappato would be perfect. Drink suggestion by Giorgio de Maria