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An easy, Mediterranean-inspired, vegan eggplant & tomato recipe
Are you looking for a simple go-to recipe to add to your Mediterranean diet for this week? Well, you’ve found it with this quick and easy weeknight dinner recipe. It’s a healthier alternative to pasta dishes that are loaded with meat or fatty creams, yet it is still an incredibly flavorful and satisfying option for dinner. Enjoy the harmonious flavors and textures of the meaty roasted eggplant and juicy tomatoes, accompanied by roasted garlic, kalamata olives, marinated artichoke hearts, and fresh licoricey basil. Need I say more?! Let’s get cooking!
What you’ll need to make it: Ingredients & Tools
Guess what? You can whip up this pasta recipe with about 10 ingredients!
- Pasta of choice (use vegan pasta to make this recipe vegan!)
- An eggplant
- Cherry tomatoes
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Salt + pepper
- Garlic cloves
- Kalamata olives + the brine
- Marinated artichoke hearts + the marinade
- Fresh basil
- Large pot (this link shows the updated version to the pot shown in the image)
- Baking sheet
- Saute pan
How to make Mediterranean Roasted Eggplant & Tomato Pasta: Step-by-step
1. Boil a pasta of your choice.
Cook the pasta according to the package instructions or to al dente. For vegan pasta, I like to cook it just 1-2 minutes under al dente to avoid it from becoming too soft or breaking apart when it’s tossed into the sauce. (See more pasta tips in the recipe card Notes).
2. Roast the garlic, eggplant and tomato.
While the pasta is boiling, grab your baking sheet. To save time on cleanup later, go ahead and line it with foil. Place the eggplant and the tomatoes on the baking sheet, drizzle on some EVOO, salt and pepper. (Sometimes I add a little garlic powder on the eggplant for extra flavor but is definitely not required. There’s tons of garlic in this dish already!). Simply, roast the veggies at 450 F for about 15-20 minutes, flipping the eggplant once during cooking.
3. Make the sauce by using the brine and marinade from the bottle!
Okay, this has to be my favorite part of this recipe because the sauce practically makes itself! Seriously, if making sauces intimidates you, there is no need to worry about making this one. As the veggies are finishing roasting, grab a saute pan and start by sauteing the aromatic onions and fresh garlic in a good amount of extra virgin olive oil. Next, take the veggies out of the oven and add them directly into the pan, scraping in every drop of those delicious juices.
Now, for the magic! Add in the olives with a tablespoon or so of the brine, followed by the artichokes and 1/2 cup of the marinade. These liquids give this sauce immense flavor, add an adequate amount of salt to counteract the tart, sweet tomatoes, and marry all of the flavors into a harmonious sauce! The extra flavor booster comes in when you dissolve the roasted garlic into the sauce to provide a deep and mellow garlic essence throughout. Omigosh! I’m drooling, now.
4. Toss the pasta with the eggplant and tomato sauce.
Get ready for to wow yourself! Dump in your cooked and drained pasta and fresh basil. Gently toss everything together to evenly coat with the glorious sauce you just whipped up and serve. Garnish with more basil (because, why not?). Bon appetit!
Choose a long and luscious pasta
An important element to making this dish most marvelous would be choosing a long pasta to swirl up all the tasty sauce and veggies. Great options are fettuccine, linguine, pappardelle, spaghetti, or angel hair, for example. I have made this with both regular and vegan, chickpea pasta (Banza brand), but choose whichever one is best for you.
This recipe features Kroger’s new private label line HemisFares Tagliatelle di Campofilone Italian Flat Egg Noodles (a non-sponsored shout out, here). This pasta is not only pretty to look at straight out of the box but is also firm but delicate in texture when prepared properly. Unfortunately, I have not been able to find them at my local Kroger these days or even on Amazon [whyyyy! (hands raised and sobbing]. So if you happen to stumble upon them, PLEASE let a girl know!
Anywhoodles….make sure to boil the noodles to a bit less than al dente so that they finish cooking in the sauce and become perfectly luscious in taste and texture. Be sure not to overcook these beauties because you do not want pasta mush (see my Notes at the end of the recipe card).
As a pasta lover, this is definetly a go-to favorite in my dinner rotation for both family and guests. Even my husband, a true meat lover, finds this recipe more than satisfying (woohoo!). We hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
More Mediterranean-inspired Recipes:
- Mediterranean Chicken & Zucchini Soup
- 15-Minute Tomato Garlic Couscous
- Spiced Apricot & Golden Raisin Oatmeal
- Warm Roasted Veggie Salad with Basil Oil
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- 10 oz of long pasta* (Banza is a great choice for vegan pasta)
- 1 pt red cherry tomatoes (or 2 vines)
- 1 medium eggplant, cubed (about 3 c)
- 2 whole garlic cloves
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 3 TB extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 c red onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced
- 1/4 c Kalamata olives halved + 2 tsp of their brine liquid
- 1/2 c marinated artichoke hearts, chopped + 1/2 c of their marinade liquid
- 1/2 c fresh basil, torn
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions or to al dente (see the Notes section below for Pasta Tips).
- Roast the veggies. Place the eggplant, tomatoes, and garlic on a baking sheet (lined with foil for easy cleanup; lightly spray with cooking spray to prevent the eggplant from sticking.) Season the veggies with oil, salt, and pepper. Toss together with your hands to evenly coat, but be gentle when moving the tomatoes on the vine to prevent them from detaching. Roast the veggies for 8-10 minutes. Flip over the eggplant and garlic and continue roasting for an additional 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. The tomatoes should be slightly burst and blistered.
- Make the sauce. In a large skillet, on medium heat, add the oil, onions, and garlic. Saute until the onions are softened and the garlic is just golden. Then, add the roasted eggplant and tomatoes (scraping in all of their delicious juices!). Next, add the artichokes and olives and their brine/marinade liquids. In the center of your pan, make a small well and add the roasted garlic. Smash the garlic with the back of your spoon to dissolve it into the sauce.
- Toss the pasta. Gently dump in your cooked and drained pasta and fresh basil. Toss everything together to evenly coat, then serve. Garnish with more basil, if desired. Bon appetit!
All About Pasta
REGULAR DRIED PASTA TIPS: If you are using regular dried pasta, and not the brand used in this recipe, or fresh pasta, the cooking time will be longer. Therefore, you can begin cooking the pasta as soon as the water boils, allowing you 7-8 minutes to make the "sauce."
VEGAN DRIED PASTA TIPS: My preferred brand of vegan pasta is Banza. The texture is just like regular pasta and the flavor is, so far, the best one I have tasted compared to other vegan brands. Be sure to cook just about 1 minute under the package instructions' cooking time, as vegan pasta is a bit more delicate than high-gluten pasta types and can become over-cooked more easily.
HEMISFARES PASTA TIPS:
HemisFares Italian Flat Egg Noodles are amazing! However, they appear to have been discontinued at several stores. A great alternative would be any long type of pasta (e.g., fettuccine, linguine, spaghetti, etc.).
If you happen to find this particular pasta, it only takes about 3-4 minutes to cook. I recommend cooking it ONLY UP TO 3 MINUTES and finish the cooking process directly in the pasta sauce. To ensure that the pasta does not overcook, either make it before or after making the sauce. If you cook them before, add the noodles to your sauce and pour half of the artichoke marinade over the noodles to loosen them up. This really helps because you do not want to over-stir the sauce and mush up your vegetables.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 288Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 454mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 4gSugar: 4gProtein: 4g
The nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used. I am not a doctor, nor a certified nutritionist and make no claims to the contrary. Each individual’s dietary needs and restrictions are unique to the individual. You are ultimately responsible for all decisions pertaining to your health. Please consult your personal physician with any questions you may have regarding your own health and diet.