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Eggplant Pasta {Simple Pasta alla Norma} –

I’ve cooked some model of this Eggplant Pasta so many occasions in so many variations, it was virtually arduous for me to jot down down the recipe.

Creamy eggplant pasta with a wooden spoon in a skillet

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Complete wheat noodles, hearty eggplant, loads of Parmesan, and some gentle, briny punches to deliver it to life are the non-negotiables.

From there, the exact mixture of substances is as much as you!

I’m sometimes a stickler for clear instructions and exact measurements (a motive my cookbook has practically 1,900 5-star evaluations!), however clean-out-the fridge pastas like this recipe are one area the place we now have extra freedom to play.

After I prepare dinner with this open-the-refrigerator, see-where-it-takes-me abandon I attempt to channel my Grandma Dorothy.

I used to chase her across the kitchen, attempting furiously to jot down down her recipes—lots of which included including “a small field” of a specific ingredient till it “seems to be proper.”

She had an instinct within the kitchen, and this versatile, simple pasta recipe will assist you to have the identical.

Half bag of spinach threatening to go dangerous? Stir it in right here!

Backyard overfloweth with zucchini? Cube just a few up and sauté them with the eggplant.

A lover of Pasta Alla Norma, a traditional Italian pasta dish made with eggplant, marinara, and ricotta salata? Skip the olives and capers, and swap the Parmesan for ricotta salata.

Entrance to again, this wholesome vegetarian pasta is prepared in half-hour. It’s certainly one of my favorites to prepare dinner up after a visit to the farmer’s market, and it makes me really feel linked to my meals.

healthy eggplant pasta in a skillet

5 Star Assessment

“I need to dub you the one-pot dinner queen since you take advantage of insanely scrumptious one-pot meals!”

— Lauren —

Learn how to Make Eggplant Pasta

The recipe must-haves listed here are eggplant, which is on the recipe’s coronary heart and makes it a wholesome all-in-one meal, contemporary lemon zest, which brings the eggplant pasta to life, and both olives or capers. They add an vital salty and briny dimension.

The Elements

  • Eggplant. Full of fiber, nutritional vitamins, and minerals, eggplant is a wholesome and scrumptious addition to this pasta. It soaks up the flavors it’s cooked with and turns into completely tender (NOT soggy and NOT bitter).
  • Retailer-Purchased Pasta Sauce. That is certainly one of my absolute favourite cooking shortcuts (the total listing is in my cookbook). It makes the eggplant pasta fast and simple.

Substitution Tip

As a substitute of store-bought pasta sauce, you should use your favourite do-it-yourself marinara, or substitute the sauce fully with a beneficiant bunch of contemporary tomatoes, sautéed proper together with the eggplant.

  • Complete Wheat Pasta Noodles. As at all times, I like to recommend utilizing entire wheat pasta as an alternative of white, as a result of it’s an on the spot strategy to make any pasta recipe more healthy (fist pump for additional fiber and protein!).

Dietary Notes

  • For a no-noodle eggplant pasta, try my reader-favorite eggplant pasta bake, Eggplant Lasagna.
  • To make eggplant pasta vegan, omit the Parmesan and add just a few tablespoons of dietary yeast.
  • Purple Bell Pepper. Provides lovely shade to the pasta and oodles of nutritional vitamins.
  • Olives. Olives are a salty and scrumptious addition that add liveliness to the pasta (as they do on this Mediterranean Pasta).

Substitution Tip

Not a fan of olives? You’ll be able to substitute the olives with 2 to three tablespoons of rinsed and drained capers. Style and add somewhat extra salt to the recipe as wanted.

  • Purple Pepper Flakes. Provides somewhat warmth with out overpowering the opposite flavors.
  • Lemon Juice + Zest. Brightens your complete dish and makes the flavors pop.
  • Parmesan. A bathe of freshly-grated Parmesan is a must have addition to my bowl of pasta. It’s tacky and takes this dish to the following stage.
sauteed eggplant and red bell pepper


Eggplant goes effectively with Mediterranean substances, together with feta, Parmesan, garlic, olives, capers, and summer season greens like zucchini, crimson bell pepper, and tomatoes. It additionally pairs properly with assorted proteins—meatballs and lamb are conventional. Shrimp additionally pairs splendidly with Mediterranean flavors (evidenced by this Sheet Pan Mediterranean Shrimp and Mediterranean Shrimp).

For those who’d wish to mess around with this recipe, look to the Mediterranean, southern France, and Italy for inspiration.

The Instructions

  1. Boil the pasta, drain it, and toss it with oil.
  2. Prepare dinner the eggplant and bell pepper. Add the garlic. Stir within the tomato sauce, olives, salt, pepper, and crimson pepper flakes. Add the lemon juice and zest.
  3. Incorporate the pasta into the sauce. Prime with herbs and Parmesan, then DIG IN!


To maintain the eggplant from getting soggy, be certain to not overdo it on the oil. Eggplant acts like a sponge and can in a short time take in oil. Begin with a small quantity of oil within the pan, then add extra in small increments as wanted if the eggplant is sticking.

Wine Pairing

Serve eggplant pasta with Chianti, Zinfandel, Merlot, or Cabernet Sauvignon.

Learn how to Retailer and Reheat Eggplant Pasta

  • To Retailer. Place leftovers in an hermetic storage container within the fridge for as much as 4 days.
  • To Reheat. Gently rewarm pasta in a Dutch oven on the stovetop over medium-low warmth. You may also reheat this recipe within the microwave.
  • To Freeze. Freeze pasta in an hermetic freezer-safe storage container for as much as 3 months. Let thaw in a single day within the fridge earlier than reheating.

Meal Plan Tip

Chop the garlic, olives, eggplant, and crimson pepper as much as 1 day upfront. Retailer every ingredient individually within the fridge.

Pasta Alla Norma in a Skillet

What to Serve with Eggplant Pasta

Advisable Instruments to Make this Recipe

The Greatest Dutch Oven

Whether or not you’re boiling pasta, making ready a casserole, or making soup, this lifetime piece is a must have. It’s high-quality and can prepare dinner beside you for years!

Creamy eggplant pasta with a wooden spoon in a skillet

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Whether or not you comply with this eggplant pasta recipe to the letter or give it your personal twist, I hope it turns into a again pocket recipe you possibly can depend on, simply because it has for us.

Eggplant Pasta Video

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  • 12 ounces entire wheat pasta or gluten free pasta if wanted, any form you want (I used fusilli)
  • 2 tablespoons additional virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium eggplant lower into ½-inch cubes (about 1 pound)
  • 1 giant crimson bell pepper lower into ¼ x 1-inch strips
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed crimson pepper flakes
  • 12 ounces ready tomato pasta sauce
  • ½ cup kalamata olives
  • Zest and juice of 1 medium lemon
  • ¼ cup chopped contemporary herbs equivalent to parsley or basil
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for serving

  • Deliver a big pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Add the pasta and prepare dinner till al dente, in keeping with package deal instructions. Drain, toss with a little bit of olive oil to stop sticking, and put aside.

  • In the meantime, warmth oil in a big nonstick skillet over medium. Add the chopped eggplant and bell pepper and prepare dinner till simply softened, about 5 minutes, stirring often.

  • Add the garlic and sauté simply till aromatic, about 30 seconds. Add the salt, black pepper, and crimson pepper flakes and stir to mix.

  • Stir within the tomato sauce, then the olives. Let simmer 5 minutes, or till heated by means of. Stir within the lemon juice and zest.

  • Stir the pasta into the eggplant tomato sauce, including somewhat extra of the ready pasta sauce as wanted to moisten the noodles. Served topped with chopped contemporary herbs and Parmesan. Take pleasure in instantly.

Serving: 1(of 4)Energy: 440kcalCarbohydrates: 69gProtein: 14gFats: 12gSaturated Fats: 2gPotassium: 627mgFiber: 14gSugar: 12gVitamin A: 1510IUVitamin C: 47mgCalcium: 39mgIron: 2mg

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Extra Veggie-Packed Pasta Recipes

Pasta is a terrific strategy to get additional veggies into your day by day weight-reduction plan. Listed here are a few of my favourite pasta recipes with additional greens:

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