Fairytale Eggplant Pasta

Fairytale eggplant pasta uses these delicate, tiny eggplant to create a simple weeknight pasta dish that's elegant enough for entertaining.

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Once upon a time in a little kitchen in New Jersey, a girl opened up a box to find the most beautiful, tiny, purple and white striped eggplants.

Well, that girl was me.  But you probably already guessed that part.

A half dozen fairytale eggplant on a counter.

The box? It was my weekly CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) box from Jah’s Creation Organic Farm. Jah’s offers a Winter CSA which runs from mid-September through mid-December. It's perfect for us since we get veggies from our garden and the farmers market in the spring and summer. It's always so exciting to see what comes in the box each week, as farm owner Matt Bruckler plants all kinds of unique stuff.

And since the weather has been so warm this fall, our CSA boxes have been full of late summer goodies such as zucchini, wax beans, peppers, and of course those gorgeous little fairy tale eggplants.

This past week, we were lucky enough to get yet another box of produce delivered to our house. Only this box was from our neighbor, and it was full of the ripe red plum tomatoes that had been overflowing from their garden.  Robert Frost said something about good fences making good neighbors. But I think good tomatoes make even better neighbors.

good tomatoes make good neighbors

So with all of these beautiful veggies, I opted to make a variation of a dish served at Sage, a restaurant I used to work at during my summers home from college: A pasta with roasted eggplant, tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and basil.

Top view of a bowl of pasta with eggplant and tomato.

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Pasta with Fairytale Eggplant, Tomatoes, Fresh Mozzarella and Basil

Fairytale eggplant pasta uses these delicate, tiny eggplant to create a simple weeknight pasta dish that's elegant enough for entertaining.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 2 servings
Calories: 1443kcal

Ingredients

  • 8-10 fairytale eggplants or 1 medium standard eggplant cut into a large dice
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil divided, plus more for drizzling
  • teaspoon salt divided, plus more for seasoning the pasta water
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 8 medium plum tomatoes seeded and cut into chunks
  • 2-3 cloves garlic minced
  • ½ lb your favorite short pasta shape I used one called Gigli, like that bad Ben Affleck/ J-Lo movie
  • 1 8 oz ball of fresh mozzarella diced
  • ½ cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 3 sprigs of basil torn or cut into ribbons

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and set a medium pot of water on the stove to boil. Toss the eggplant with half the olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt and pepper to taste. Spread evenly out on a sheet pan and roast until golden brown, about 20 minutes, tossing once half way through.
  2. While the eggplant is cooking, place the tomatoes in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until pureed, but still chunky.
  3. Pour remaining ¼ cup olive oil in a pan and sauté the garlic over medium heat until it just barely starts to toast, about 2 minutes. Add in the tomatoes, salt and pepper, and cook over medium high until reduced slightly, about 10 minutes.
  4. While the tomatoes are simmering, liberally salt the boiling water and drop in the pasta. Cook according to the directions on the package, until al dente. Drain the pasta, then add it to the pan with the tomatoes along with the roasted eggplant. Toss together and cook in the pan for another minute or two so the pasta can absorb the sauce. Remove from heat and toss with the fresh mozzarella, half the Parmigiano, and basil. Drizzle with a little more olive oil if desired, sprinkle with the rest of the Parmigiano and serve.

Notes

  • I normally insist on peeling eggplant, as I find the skin can be both texturally unpleasant and bitter. But with these little guys, peeling would just be a pain in the ass. So I roasted them without peeling and it turns out their skins are much more delicate and mellow. So if you’re using a standard eggplant, my advice would be to peel it. But hey, you do whatever makes you happy.

Nutrition

Calories: 1443kcal | Carbohydrates: 112g | Protein: 53g | Fat: 88g | Saturated Fat: 27g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 49g | Cholesterol: 107mg | Sodium: 2881mg | Potassium: 1487mg | Fiber: 14g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 3081IU | Vitamin C: 40mg | Calcium: 945mg | Iron: 4mg

Close up top view of a bowl of pasta with eggplant and tomato sauce.

5 from 6 votes

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12 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This was DELICIOUS!!! Of course (as with any recipe) , I made it my own. I added extra garlic, a couple of Long Hots, from my garden, and since my husband won't go meatless, chicken sausage with artichoke and olives.. All of the eggplants, and basil came from my garden, only some of the tomatoes. This dish tasted very fresh, and it was easy. Next time I think I will add even more eggplant and maybe spinach. I will definitely make this again!! Thank you for sharing it.

    1. Thank you for the comment - I'm so glad to hear it! The addition of extra garlic and long hots is brilliant - how can you go wrong?! Same for the sausage. 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    August 24, 2010 at 6:55 amHi! I found your website thuorgh the link, localharvest.org. What you have sounds exciting for me! I was wondering if you could tell me if your produce is organic? Also, if I ever wanted, would it be possible to see your hens in action? It's important to me that the animals that work hard for my food are treated kindly and I couldn't, in good conscience, eat something if I knew the animals had to suffer for my food.Thanks!

  3. 5 stars
    Hey nicole do you have a cookbook? I recently started getting into cooking and me and my fiance usually have dinner parties once a week and would love to learn more recipes.

  4. 5 stars
    Yum. Sounds great! I will try this over the weekend. I am currently (as I type) watching re-runs of Chopped and look forward to watching Lisa on the new episode later this evening.

    Bet you are glad that Superstorm Sandy is one year ago and that you and your family are dry dry dry!

    From Mary Marie's sister Caroline