Pasta with Eggplant, Tomato, and Red Chili Pepper Recipe

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3 votes | 1911 views

This is a great recipe that I have adapted from the awesome Marcella Hazan. Everyone loves it (even if you don't love eggplant)! Try munching on a couple of the eggplant cubes when they are fresh out of the pan. They put french fries to shame!

Prep time:
Cook time:
Servings: 4


Cost per serving $1.32 view details
  • 1 pound eggplant (or 1.5-2 lbs if you love eggplant!)
  • 1 tsp salt or to taste
  • Vegetable oil for frying eggplant
  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp chopped garlic (2-3 cloves)
  • 2 Tbsp chopped italian parsley (or cilantro or basil if you prefer)
  • 2 cups canned Italian style plum tomatoes, chopped with juice (about 1 14.5 oz can)
  • Chopped hot red chili pepper to taste (or red pepper flakes if you don't have a whole chili pepper)
  • 1 pound pasta (our preference is twisted pasta like rotini or fusilli, or bowtie. Marcella recommends spaghettini.)


  1. Trim the eggplant. If skin is thick, peel it. Cut lengthwise into 3/8 in thick slices. Stand the eggplant and salt on both sides--you can use the inside of a pasta colander, pasta pot, or something else--or just rest it on paper towels. Let the eggplant sweat for about 30 minutes to remove bitterness. Pat dry.
  2. Pour 1 1/2 inches of cooking oil into a pot deep enough to keep oil from splattering. Once oil is hot,put in as many slices of eggplant as you can fit. Fry on one side till golden brown, 1-2 minutes. Then turn and brown other side. Remove to paper towels and repeat with remaining Eggplant. (If the Eggplant needs to be chopped or sliced, as in this dish, I sometimes cut before frying to make it easier to fit more eggplant into the pan at once. This also makes turning easier. I then remove with a slotted spoon instead of tongs.)
  3. When eggplant is cooling, put the olive oil and garlic in a sauce pan on medium. Cook and stir until garlic becomes translucent. Add the tomatoes, parsley, chili pepper and salt, and stir. Adjust head to simmer and cook for 25 minutes.
  4. Cut the eggplant into slivers or cubes (if you didn't before frying) about 1/2 inch wide or cubed. Add to sauce and cook another 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste and correct for salt and red pepper.
  5. While preparing sauce, boil pasta.
  6. Combine sauce and pasta, stir, and serve immediately with fresh, crusty Italian bread!
  7. Note: You can fry the eggplant well in advance and refrigerate if you like (even a day or two in advance is OK).


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Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving %DV
Serving Size 339g
Recipe makes 4 servings
Calories 555  
Calories from Fat 107 19%
Total Fat 12.19g 15%
Saturated Fat 1.77g 7%
Trans Fat 0.0g  
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 763mg 32%
Potassium 704mg 20%
Total Carbs 95.13g 25%
Dietary Fiber 8.0g 27%
Sugars 8.07g 5%
Protein 16.76g 27%
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  • John Spottiswood
    This is light, flavorful, delicious. Great for a dinner on a warm summer evening with a salad of fresh tomato, avocado, and basil! Perhaps a glass of Pinot Grigio?
    I've cooked/tasted this recipe!

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