School is out and it seems like schedules are busier than ever. I love having recipes that not only come together quickly but also make for easy cleanup. This Sheet Pan Tortellini alla Norma is one of my favorite weeknight meals.
Just because I want something quick during the week doesn’t mean I take shortcuts on flavor. Taking the traditional flavors of alla Norma with eggplant and tomatoes and allowing the oven to do all of the work, all I have to do is get the pot of water boiling for my tortellini pasta. Just add a salad like my Summertime Strawberry Caprese Salad along with crusty bread, and dinner is done!
I love this recipe because it combines pantry staples like canned tomatoes and pasta with beautiful fresh ingredients like eggplant.
- Tortellini – Use your favorite brand. You will want the family size for this recipe.
- Eggplant – This is the star of the dish and adds meatiness while keeping this recipe vegetarian. This makes for a perfect Meatless Monday meal option.
- Plum Tomatoes – You can use canned or fresh for this recipe. If using fresh because the tomatoes are roasted it will bring out their natural sweetness and concentrate their flavors.
- Olive oil
- Salt and black pepper
- Dried oregano and basil – These will add an herbaceous note to the roasted eggplant and tomatoes.
- Chili flakes
- Parmesan cheese
- Fresh basil
- Garlic cloves – measure with your heart!
How to Make Sheet Pan Tortellini alla Norma
With just a few simple steps and tips this traditional Sicilian pasta dish gets a weeknight friendly twist.
All you need is 30 minutes for this delicious and elegant pasta dish to come together.
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Bring large pot of water to a boil.
- Mix it Up
Add your eggplant, tomatoes, onions, and garlic to a sheet pan. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper, and dried herbs.
- The Heat Is On
Roast for 20-25 minutes.
- Pasta Time
While your vegetables are roasting add your tortellini to the boiling pot of water. Cook according to the package directions and drain.
- Dinner Done!
Remove the eggplant and tomato mixture from the oven. Add the drained tortellini and toss to combine.
- Finishing Touch
Sprinkle fresh basil and grated parmesan over the top.
While this elegant meat free pasta doesn’t require any special ingredients, you can swap out certain ingredients to fit your tastes and also what is in season.
- Zucchini/yellow squash – Feel free to swap the eggplant for a summer squash. While this dish will not long have the traditional flavors of pasta alla Norma it will have a similar texture and flavor. However, you may need to adjust the roasting time as these squash of more water content than eggplant.
- Ravioli – No tortellini? No problem! Try swapping out the tortellini for another stuffed pasta such as ravioli.
Variations on Sheet Pan Tortellini alla Norma
While pasta alla Norma is traditionally meat free and vegetarian, you can add your for Italian sausage to this for a heartier meal. They can roast on the sheet pan with the eggplant and tomatoes but won’t require as much time in the oven so add them later on.
Another fun twist on Sheet Pan Tortellini alla Norma is making it gnocchi alla Norma. Swap out the tortellini for gnocchi. You can either boil the gnocchi according to the package directions or roast them on the same sheet pan as the tomatoes and eggplant.
You can also make this meal completely Gluten Free. Simply swap the tortellini for a Gluten Free variety.
The beauty of this dish is that you don’t need any special equipment. The sauce is made on a sheet pan while roasting in the oven. While the sauce is baking, all you need to do is boil your water and drain the cooked tortellini into a colander.
Storing Sheet Pan Tortellini alla Norma
This is a great dish for leftovers. Simply store your leftover pasta in an airtight container in the refrigerator. If you use one that is microwave safe it makes reheating that much more convenient the next day.
Top Tip for Sheet Pan Tortellini alla Norma
Whenever you are cooking pasta remember to season the water once it comes to a boil. This is your only chance to season the pasta itself.
Sheet Pan Pasta alla Norma
- 1 sheet pan
- 1 stockpot
- 1 colander
- 1 18-20 oz tortellini Family sized
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 eggplant, diced medium
- 3-4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 1 onion, sliced
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp dried basil
- pinch of chili flakes
- parmesan cheese for serving
- fresh basil for serving
- 1 lb plum tomatoes 1 can
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Bring a stockpot of water to a boil.
- Add the eggplant, tomatoes, onions, and garlic toa sheet pan. Season with salt, pepper, and dried herbs. Drizzle the olive oil over the top.
- Allow the vegetables to roast for 20-25 minutes.
- While the vegetables are roasting add the tortellini to the boiling water and cook according to the package directions.
- Drain the cooked tortellini and add it to the eggplant and tomato mixture. Toss to combine.
- Top the pasta with parmesan and fresh basil when serving.