Spicy Eggplant Pasta

Spicy Eggplant Pasta is a wonderful meatless pasta that is hearty enough to stand up to a cozy night in on a cool fall evening. This is essentially Pasta alla Norma, a traditional Sicilian pasta dish. 

I’m always on the lookout for seasonal produce and eggplant peaks in the fall. When eggplant looks good in the store, I just can’t pass it up. When buying eggplant, look for firm shiny eggplant, it should feel dense. I bought two large eggplants for this recipe, it might look like a lot when chopped but trust me eggplant cooks down and really adds to the base of the sauce. 

The trick to cooking really delicious and tender eggplant is salting it before cooking. It needs to sweat out the enzymes that make it bitter. I like to place the chopped eggplant in a large colander in the sink and give it a big tablespoon seasoning of salt. Let it sit for 20 minutes, you’ll see water in the bottom of your sink from it sweating. Rinse it well with cold water and use a clean towel to press down gently to drain and dry the eggplant. 

This pasta comes together in under an hour, but tastes like it’s been cooking all day. I love pasta dishes like this that is comforting and feels good for you.

Spicy Eggplant Pasta

2 September, 2014
: 6
: 20 min
: 30 min
: 50 min
: Easy

The key to cooking eggplant is to pre-salt and let your eggplant sweat before cooking it. Doing this extra step results in perfectly tender delicious eggplant every time.

By:

Ingredients
  • 2 whole Eggplants, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Kosher Salt
  • 1 pound Thin Spaghetti, cooked al dente
  • 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 tablespoons Unsalted Butter
  • 1 whole Yellow Onion, diced
  • 2 whole Carrots, diced
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons Red Pepper Flake
  • 2 tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • 1 cup Dry White Wine
  • 1 {16 ounce} jar Tomato Sauce
  • Kosher Salt and Ground Black Pepper, for seasoning
  • Fresh Parsley and Fresh Basil, chopped for garnish
  • Parmesan Cheese, grated for garnish
Directions
  • Step 1 Place chopped eggplant in a colander. Toss with 1 tablespoon kosher salt and let stand for 20 minutes to allow eggplant to sweat. Rinse well and pat dry with a clean towel before cooking.
  • Step 2 Bring a large pot full of water to a boil. Season water with kosher salt and boil pasta until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain well.
  • Step 3 In a large shallow pan heat olive oil and butter over medium high heat. Add chopped eggplant, onion, and carrots, season with kosher salt. Cook for 5 minutes until veggies are tender and slightly browned.
  • Step 4 Add the garlic, red pepper flake, and tomato paste to the pan, stir and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Turn heat down to medium and pour in the wine. Stir together until the tomato paste and wine are combined and thick. Add the tomato sauce and stir to combine. Season with kosher salt to taste and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Step 5 Toss pasta in the sauce and serve. Garnish with chopped parsley, basil and grated Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

Spicy Eggplant Pasta

Add the eggplant to the pan and cook for 2 minutes. Add the carrots and cook for 5 minutes until all the veggies are tender.

Spicy Eggplant Pasta

Add the garlic and red pepper flake, stir and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomato paste to the pan and stir in.

Spicy Eggplant Pasta

Turn heat down to medium and pour in the wine.

Spicy Eggplant Pasta

Stir together until the tomato paste and wine are combined and thick. Reduce heat and simmer mixture for 3 minutes.

Add the jar of tomato sauce and stir to combine.

Spicy Eggplant Pasta

Season with salt and pepper. Simmer for 5 minutes. Toss pasta in sauce and garnish with plenty of Parmesan cheese. 

Savor and Enjoy!



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