In our house, eggplant is a regular vegetable on the grocery list. That’s because my Souther Italian husband, totally loves it in any form. Eggplants are used a lot in Souther Italian cooking and are a flavourful delicate ingredient if cooked well.
Pasta con melanzane (eggplant) is a classic in most Italian homes and here’s my husband’s family recipe. You can use any chunky pasta like fusilli, penne, orrecchiette etc. I have taken it to another level by adding the creamy burrata which tastes like heaven! If you cannot get burrata, some bocconcini balls or torn fresh mozzarella will also do. Alternatively, omit all together and just put some extra parmesan.
This sauce works really well with gnocchi as well. See my GNOCCHI WITH EGGPLANTS recipe and EGGPLANT PARMESAN for variations using the same flavours and ingredients.
What you need
Pasta (your choice)
2 cups tomato puree
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Extra virgin olive oil
1 eggplant, diced
Fresh basil leaves
Fresh rosemary (optional)
Sea salt and pepper
Red chilly flakes (optional)
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
1 burrata (optional)
Making the sauce-
Heat a pan and add olive oil. Add the garlic cloves and cook for 20 secs.
Add the tomato puree, salt and pepper, oregano and some fresh rosemary. Add a splash of water. Bring to the boil then cover and simmer for 15 mins.
In another pan, sauté the diced eggplant in olive oil until browned. Season lightly.
Combine the eggplants and sauce and cook for another 10 mins on low heat.
Add some fresh basil, remove the cooked rosemary and adjust seasoning to taste. Add red chilly flakes if using
Putting it all together-
Boil the pasta in salted hot water till al dente.
Drain and add to the eggplant tomato sauce.
Toss well. Take off heat and add grated parmesan, some extra virgin olive oil, fresh basil and pepper.
Top with chunks of fresh Burrata or Bocconcini cheese (optional).