Spicy Eggplant Pasta
An incredibly easy flavor packed pasta meal with roasted eggplant cubes, a chunky simple tomato sauce and a dollop of ricotta cheese for finishing.
- 500 g eggplant 1 pound
- olive oil
- 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- salt and pepper
- 2-3 fresh tomatoes, diced See note
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 1/4 tsp dried red chili flakes
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
- Handful fresh basil
Cook your pasta of choice according to package instructions. I love linguine for this, angel hair pasta or normal spaghetti. When pasta is done, reserve some of the cooking water before draining and setting aside.
For the eggplant:
Heat oven to 220 C (425 F). Wash the eggplant, peel strips of the skin off and dice it into 1/2 inch sized cubes.
Place eggplant cubes in a colander over the sink, sprinkle well with salt and leave 30-45 minutes or until beads of water appear on the eggplant. Rinse the eggplant and dry it very well with paper towels.
Place the eggplant cubes on parchment lined baking sheets and bake for 10 minutes, then remove from oven and stir around. Return to oven and cook for a further 10-20 minutes or until eggplant is golden brown and cooked through. This would be a good time to start your sauce, while your eggplant is cooking.
For the sauce:
In a skillet over medium heat, add a big drizzle of olive oil. Saute the sliced garlic for a couple minutes or until starting to soften. Add the diced fresh tomatoes, canned diced tomatoes, the oregano and dried basil (or sub Italian seasoning) , the red chili flakes. Season with salt and pepper, and simmer for 20 minutes or so or until sauce has thickened slightly.
Toss the eggplant cubes in the sauce, then toss in your cooked pasta noodles of choice.. If the sauce needs to be thinned slightly, add in some of the reserved pasta water.
Serve by garnishing with fresh basil leaves and topping each plate with a big dollop of creamy ricotta cheese. Enjoy!
You can use all fresh tomatoes or all diced, but I had a couple in the fridge on their last legs so I threw those in.
You can substitute Italian seasoning for the dried basil and oregano.