Pasta “alla Norma” – Eggplant with Gluten-Free Chickpea Cavatappi Pasta and Spicy Red Sauce


Pasta alla Norma Eggplant with Gluten-Free Chickpea Cavatappi Pasta and Spicy Red Sauce – Healthy, Plant-Based, Oil-Free, Vegan Italian Dinner Recipe

Medium |  Servings: 4 |  Ready In: 75 minutes |  Yield: about 10 cups

Gluten-free Cavatappi pasta noodles hold chunks of roasted eggplant and spicy tomato sauce for this classic Italian dish.  The traditional version uses lots of oil and cheese, but this healthy vegan version roasts the eggplant until golden brown.  Make a batch of eggplant and sauce on the weekend for quick assembly during the week.  Enjoy on its own, serve with Kale Avocado Salad, top with 5-Minute Vegan Cashew “Parm”, and finish the meal with 5-Minute Chocolate Banana “I-Scream!”.


For the Garlic-Roasted Eggplant:

  • 2 big globe eggplants, cut into large pieces
  • 1 teaspoon garlic granules
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For the Spicy Tomato Sauce:

  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced Italian tomatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red chili flake
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 cup water

For the Chickpea Pasta and Serving

How it’s Done:

Preheat your oven to 375F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper on a non-stick baking mat.

To make the Garlic-Roasted Eggplant: Spread the eggplant onto the pre-lined baking sheet.  Sprinkle with garlic granules and salt.  Spread into a single layer.  Roast for 1 hour, until golden brown and firm in texture, tossing every 15-20 minutes.  The eggplant will shrink considerably as it roasts.

To make the Spicy Tomato Sauce: Combine all of the ingredients for the sauce in a medium pot.  Bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer.  Simmer, uncovered, for at least 30 minutes (or as long as the eggplant cooks).  Taste to adjust seasoning.  Keep warm.

To make the Chickpea Cavatappi Pasta “alla Norma”:  Cook the pasta in a pot of boiling water, according to package directions.  When the pasta is still “al dente” (just shy of done, with a little bite still), drain and return it back to the same pot.  Add the Spicy Tomato Sauce, Garlic-Roasted Eggplant, and fresh basil.  Stir to combine.

Serve immediately and enjoy!

Enjoy with Kale Avocado Salad, top with 5-Minute Vegan Cashew “Parm”, and finish the meal with 5-Minute Chocolate Banana “I-Scream!”.


Chickpea Cavatappi holds roasted eggplant and a spicy tomato sauce in this gluten-free version of a classic Italian recipe

Chef’ Katie’s Tips

Oil-Free Mission: I’m on a mission to get rid of empty calories, and oil is the most calorie-dense food. For this recipe, roasted cashews and macadamia nuts add rich, nutty flavor, while also bringing healthy fiber and key nutrients. You can substitute with other roasted nuts and seeds (Brazil nuts, almonds, sunflower seeds are my favorites).

Make Ahead: Make the eggplant and spicy tomato sauce for this meal ahead of time, but store them separately.  Then, boil the pasta and combine with the eggplant and sauce just before serving.  You can make a big batch of the tomato sauce and freeze extras for future meals.


Nutrition Facts

Nutrition Facts
Servings 4.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 274
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 4 g 6 %
Saturated Fat 0 g 1 %
Monounsaturated Fat 0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg 0 %
Sodium 258 mg 11 %
Potassium 711 mg 20 %
Total Carbohydrate 51 g 17 %
Dietary Fiber 17 g 68 %
Sugars 16 g
Protein 17 g 35 %
Vitamin A 12 %
Vitamin C 15 %
Calcium 9 %
Iron 36 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.


Shopping and Gear List

  • Banza Chickpea Pasta – High Protein Gluten Free Healthy Pasta – Cavatappi (Pack of 6)
  • Frontier Culinary Spices Garlic Granules, 2.7-Ounce Bottle
  • Bragg Premium Nutritional Yeast Seasoning 4.5 Ounce
  • Organic Crushed Red Pepper, 1 Pound


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