Eggplant tomato sauce with pasta is an easy and nutritious vegan meal!
One of us married a man who hates eggplant. It’s true. He has other wonderful qualities, and he proudly grows beautiful eggplants in the garden, but he will rarely eat them. He’s the guy who picks the eggplant slices out of moussaka (which we happily transfer to our plate). He’s the one who will sort through the pile of fried zucchini and fried eggplant chips to select only the zucchini. He’s the dad who makes a point of not eating any of our vegan stuffed eggplants because he “is saving them” for the girls, who love them. But this eggplant tomato sauce with pasta? Guys…this he ate! And (drum roll please) he
loved liked it!
We still can’t believe it. On a day that this gem of a gardener brought in about 6 freshly picked eggplants this recipe was born. We had tweaked with this idea for a while, and finally got it just right. Still, although we love this recipe and its bold flavour – we weren’t convinced that the guy who won’t even try the classic Greek dish of fried eggplant with tomato sauce would. But, sometimes hunger and the pleading eyes of a wife win, and so he had a taste. Then a second. Then a third. And then, with a bit of resolve and some tomato sauce on his chin, he declared, “I’ll eat eggplant, but only like this”. Eggplant tomato sauce with pasta for the win!
Eggplants come in many different varieties.
You can purchase, and grow, a number of different eggplant varieties. Most will work just fine in this recipe. We use either the Globe eggplant or the Italian eggplant in this eggplant tomato sauce with pasta. Both work really well, and both grow in our garden. You can also use varieties; the Chinese eggplant would probably work really well too.
You can use any type of pasta shape you like.
It’s so wonderful to see the various shapes of pasta which are available – they can make the same meal seem different every time you make it. For this recipe we like to use short pastas, like penne or fusilli. You can use any pasta sure like however; be creative and enjoy!
This eggplant tomato sauce freezes very well.
Having frozen meals and sauces ready is a life saver! When evenings are busy it is so tempting to rely on take-out or cereal for dinner (both great options sometimes). Freezer ready meals allow you to have homemade goodness ready any night of the week.
We tend to use freezer bags to freeze things like pasta sauce. Fill your bag, lay it flat in the freezer until frozen, and then store them upright (which makes it easier to see them). Defrost the night before in the refrigerator, or in the microwave a little while before you need it.
Remember, freeze only the sauce. Cook the pasta when you need it and then proceed with mixing the sauce and pasta together as described in the recipe.
Eggplant tomato sauce with pasta is a vegan meal.
Having hearty, nutritious, easy and loved-by-all vegan meals available is so important. When you are cooking for someone on a plant-based diet, it can be challenging. A non-vegan meal for the meat-eaters, and a vegan meal for the non-meat eater means…2 meals! With a recipe like our eggplant tomato sauce with pasta, you can serve it to everyone who is eating. The vegans will be happy, and the meat-eaters will be too!
If a vegan meal is not a concern, then you can also top each serving with some grated parmesan cheese. Yum!
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Eggplant tomato sauce with pasta
- 2 medium eggplants (about 420 grams total)
- 1 tbps salt
- ¼ cup (60 mL) olive oil
- 1 medium onion
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp chili flakes
- ¼ cup (60 mL) red wine or 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar + 2 tbsp tomato sauce
- 1 cup (250 mL) tomato sauce
- 1 cup (250 mL) vegetable stock or water
- salt, pepper and chili flakes to taste.
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) tomato paste
- 1 medium tomato, diced.
- ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
For the pasta
- 300 grams dry pasta
- 1 tsp salt
- Cut eggplant into small cubes, about the size of a die. Do not peel.2 medium eggplants (about 420 grams total)
- Sprinkle the eggplant with 1 tablespoon of salt and toss to coat. Drain in a colander set over a bowl or shallow plate for about 30 minutes.1 tbps salt
- Meanwhile, chop the onion into small dice and finely chop the garlic.1 medium onion, 4 cloves garlic
- Heat the olive oil over medium heat and saute the onion for about 5 minutes along with the bay leaf. Add the chili flakes and the garlic and saute for 2 minutes more.¼ cup (60 mL) olive oil, 1 bay leaf, 1 tsp chili flakes
- Rinse the eggplant and add it to the pot with the onions and garlic.
- Cook over medium heat, stirring often, for about 15 minutes until the eggplant is nice and soft. Stirring regularly to avoid the eggplant from sticking.
- Deglaze your pan with the red wine or with the balsamic vinegar and tomato sauce.¼ cup (60 mL) red wine
- Next add in the tomato paste and stir. Cook for about 1 minute.2 tbsp (30 mL) tomato paste
- Next add in the diced tomato, the tomato sauce and the vegetable stock.1 cup (250 mL) tomato sauce, 1 medium tomato, diced., 1 cup (250 mL) vegetable stock
- Season with salt, pepper and chili flakes to taste.salt, pepper and chili flakes to taste.
- Cook, covered over low-medium heat for about 20 minutes.
- Remove lid and finish cooking for about 5 minutes.
- Add the basil to the sauce after you have removed it from the heat, and just before combining it with the pasta.¼ cup chopped fresh basil
- Cook pasta according to package directions, adding 1 tsp of salt to the water. Once the pasta is done, drain it and add it to the pot with the sauce. Stir until the pasta is well coated with the sauce and serve.300 grams dry pasta, 1 tsp salt