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overhead of eggplant and diced tomato pasta with grated cheese in a large braiser
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Smoky Eggplant Pasta

Smokey, gooey cheese sautéed with tender eggplant and garlic and basil laced diced tomato sauce.
Course Pasta
Cuisine Italian
Keyword affumicati, eggplant pasta, roasted eggplant, smoked cheese pasta
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Overnight Press & Marinate 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 55 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 662kcal

Ingredients

Roasted Eggplant

  • 2 medium eggplants peeled, ½" cubes
  • cup olive oil
  • salt

Smoky Eggplant Pasta

  • 3 medium tomatoes about 2 cups diced
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped basil
  • 4 cloves garlic very thinly sliced
  • 1 pound short pasta
  • ½ cup pasta water
  • 8 ounces smoked mozzarella or gouda
  • parmesan cheese for garnish

Instructions

  • Prep the eggplant. Peel the eggplants and dice in ½ inch cubes. Spread the eggplant over a sheet tray lined with a clean kitchen towel or paper towels. Very generously salt the eggplant and cover with another clean kitchen towel or paper towels. Cover with another sheet tray and place in the fridge with heavy items on top of it overnight or to 48 hours.
    pressed diced eggplant on a sheet tray
  • Prep the sauce. In a large bowl or container, combine the diced tomatoes, olive oil, white wine, salt, pepper, garlic, and basil. Cover and let it sit at least an hour or overnight for the best flavor.
    diced tomatoes, sliced garlic, basil, and olive oil in a bowl
  • Cook the pasta. Set a large pot of water to boil. Season generously with salt. Cook the pasta according to the package directions or until al dente. Reserve ½ cup pasta water before draining.
    cooked pasta steaming in a bowl
  • Sauté the eggplant. In a large skillet, heat ⅓ cup olive oil over medium high heat until it shimmers. Add the eggplant and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes until browned, stirring every 2 minutes or so.
    sauteed eggplant and diced tomatoes in a pan
  • Make the sauce. Add the fresh diced tomato sauce to the pan and let it simmer for about 2 minutes to cook off the alcohol in the wine. Stir in the cooked pasta, smoked cheese, and ¼ to ½ cup of the reserved pasta water depending on how much liquid you would like your sauce to have. Sauté all the ingredients together, remove from heat, and serve immediately.
    backlit photo of pasta in a large braiser dish

Notes

  • If you don't have time to press the eggplant or marinate the tomatoes overnight, let them sit for an hour before cooking to pull some of the moisture and develop flavor.
  • The eggplant can also be roasted in the oven at 375°F for about 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Slice the garlic as thin as possible - or use chopped garlic if having the knife so close to your fingers makes you nervous!  The sauce cooks very quickly so any thick pieces of garlic will not have time to cook through completely.
  • You can absolutely cook the eggplant in advance and just through everything together when ready.

Nutrition

Calories: 662kcal | Carbohydrates: 70g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 18g | Cholesterol: 43mg | Sodium: 710mg | Potassium: 727mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 761IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 307mg | Iron: 2mg