Spicy Eggplant Pasta

By • September 18, 2013 22 Comments

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Author Notes: A hearty, filling, and simple pasta dish that's as crowd pleasing as it is vegetarian friendly.Gena Hamshaw

Serves 4 to 6

  • 2 medium eggplants
  • Salt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups chopped plum tomatoes or one 14-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, or 1 1/2 teaspoons dry oregano
  • 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes, plus extra for finishing
  • 1/4 cup fresh, chopped basil, plus extra for finishing
  • 1 pound linguine pasta
  1. Cut the eggplants crosswise into 1-inch thick slices. Lay the slices on a baking sheet, salt them well on both sides, and set aside for half an hour or so.
  2. Preheat the oven to 425° F.
  3. Drizzle two tablespoons of olive oil over the eggplant, tossing the slices to coat them. Sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper. Arrange them in a single layer on the baking sheets and roast them until they're tender and browning, about 20 minutes.
  4. While the eggplant roasts, heat remaining tablespoon of the olive oil on low heat in a large saucepan. Add the onions and the minced garlic and sautée them until onions are soft (8 to 10 minutes). Add the tomatoes, oregano, pepper flakes, and basil. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, till the sauce has thickened up (approximately 10 to 12 minutes). When the eggplant is ready, remove it from the oven, chop it into 1-inch pieces, and add it to the sauce. Continue to simmer gently on very low heat.
  5. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain the pasta and gently fold in the sauce. Top the pasta with additional chopped basil and red pepper flakes to taste. Serve.

More Great Recipes: Eggplant|Plums|Pasta|Vegetables|Entrees

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Comments (22) Questions (0)


5 months ago Kaite

Oh my goodness! This recipe is AMAZING. It was super easy to make. I would add though that I thought the eggplant ended up a little too salty. Next time I will salt the eggplant the first time but not re-salt as stated in the recipe. I also did what another user suggested and added a little bit of herb goat cheese to my bowl. I can see myself throwing this between some Italian bread, melting mozzarella on it, and adding spinach for a sandwich.


5 months ago Kaite

Also, my husband added some pine nuts to his bowl. He really enjoyed it.


6 months ago VF

I saw this recipe and am going to make it but with zucchini noodles. I was standing in front of the zucchini at the time I was shopping for the recipe.


11 months ago unpublishable

Made this just now and it's fantastic. It's essentially Pasta alla Amatriciana with roasted egg plant.


about 1 year ago Señora Hughes

Made this for a dinner party last night, added a bit of goats cheese to the bottom of the bowls before serving it, as well as some mushrooms I had in the fridge to the sauce. Everyone had seconds. Was deelish.


about 1 year ago Bryan Mays

Made this tonight for dinner....I know it's supposed to be a Meatless Monday recipe, but since it's Wednesday, I added a little pancetta and a little bit of anchovy paste.......and a splash of white wine..........VERY delicious! Oregano and basil out of my garden!


about 1 year ago Susie

That's too bad. It'll be great the day people think with their minds and hearts, and not as to what they're "supposed" to do just because someone's declared a day a "meatless" day. Living a vegan lifestyle can be so uplifting -- good for all sentient beings, good for yourself, and good for our earth.

Sorry to sound preachy, but I made the mistake of thinking this was a vegan recipe website. And I'm always in it for the voiceless, including the anchovies and the pigs.


about 1 year ago Susan W

Susan W is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I followed your lead with the anchovy and pancetta. Great combo and added great zing!


8 months ago Adrienne

Susie, why on earth did you think this was a vegan recipe website?


8 months ago Susie

Okay, as I had THOUGHT I'd clearly explained, I wrote that "I made the mistake of thinking this was a vegan recipe website."

So that's MY "why on earth" for you.

This page's link showed up on one of the many vegan- and animal rights-related websites I occasionally visit, and I can only assume (please don't blame ME, since I'm not the webmaster of whichever site that was) that, since this recipe IS, in fact, VEGAN, that's why it was shared with many others.

It's really not my fault, but I thought the recipe sounded absolutely delicious just as it was published, so I made a comment which -- obviously -- isn't particularly welcome.

I bet your pardon, Adrienne.


about 1 year ago sevenfaces

Made it, loved it! Used pappardelle and it was very satisfying.


about 1 year ago Tomas Tobu Buday

Made it for lunch today, used cayenne pepper instead of flakes, was still delicious!


about 1 year ago gerald

Made this last night. I like how the eggplant is allowed to be the star in this. I used whole wheat thin spaghetti, and drizzled with some extra virgin olive oil for an addition of lusciousness. Yum. Will make again.


about 1 year ago Susie

Oh, man! That sounds so wonderful, Gerald! I can't wait to make this, and many thanks to Gena for sharing it for the rest of us.


about 1 year ago Susie

Gena... Well, unless you use an egg-based pasta, this recipe is VEGAN-friendly If food items are vegetarian, why not go all the way and make them vegan, too?! Easy!


over 1 year ago Sherry Jun

I made this last night and it was very homey and comforting. I used a can of crushed tomatoes, and it did make the sauce a bit thick. Maybe I should have added more water or pasta water to thin it out, but it was still delicious. I also used a brown rice pasta in lieu of linguine, which was a great substitute.


over 1 year ago Petite fee

Two thumps !


almost 2 years ago Marsha Gainey

So good, so easy, and so spicy! Next time, I will only add 1 tsp. of red pepper flakes. And there WILL be a next time. A definite keeper. http://mlgainey.tumblr...


almost 2 years ago littlesister

This was really simple and good, though I added a few things that I had on hand. Most impressive was the flavor of the eggplant and that the prep for it was pretty minimal. I'll treat my eggplant to this method again!


almost 2 years ago zpalmieri

Really great, simple, and easy! I added mushrooms too.


almost 2 years ago Jemah Takle

Great recipe. I added diced capsicum and mushrooms. The only thing I would change is putting half of the halved plum tomatoes in the pan at the start and then putting the other half towards the end as otherwise they just turn to mush.


almost 2 years ago fhp

This sounds very good.
I like that the eggplant is initially prepared in the oven.