Saucy Eggplant Tomato Pasta: 30-Minute Vegan Feast
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A big pot of tomato eggplant pasta is the perfect vegan weeknight meal for two or more, and it’s ready in under 30 minutes. So kick off those work shoes and relax as you enjoy a taste of the Mediterranean.
With eggplant, juicy tomatoes, and rigatoni pasta this is soon to become one of your favorite dishes!
This eggplant tomato recipe is a vegan take on the Sicilian dish Pasta alla Norma, or pasta con le melanzane ‘pasta with eggplant’.
A ripe eggplant is just the right vegetable for this dish. It gives a great meaty texture without the meat so it’s perfect for a vegan recipe like this one.
The savory flavor of the eggplant pairs perfectly with tomatoes. A cup of cherry tomatoes is going to give a lovely sweetness especially when they burst with flavor in the pan.
Add these to some fresh bell peppers in oil (or piquillo peppers) and it will make for a delicious eggplant tomato sauce.
A great way to add some protein to pasta dishes is by throwing in some hearty beans. Navy beans will help to create a nice filling meal, Italian-inspired comfort food at its finest.
To get some greens in there I’ve gone with kale as it’s full of nutrients, but you can always add spinach or cavolo nero for a more authentic Italian taste.
A great option to hold all that lovely sauce has got to be tubular pasta, I think rigatoni is perfect, but penne pasta would also be a great alternative.
Like any authentic Mediterranean dish, herbs are really going to add a depth of flavor to the eggplant mixture. For this easy recipe, I’m going with classic thyme and rosemary.
I am definitely going to recommend fresh herbs over dried ones if you can get them. They just give you a stronger aroma that is just what your homemade tomato sauce needs.
But of course, if dried is all you have they will do.
How many calories are in eggplant tomato pasta?
This meal will give you a healthy 545 calories and 24 grams of protein.
And here is an overview of the nutritional information
According to Web MD eggplant isn’t the most nutritious veg but it has a good supply of vitamins A and C as well as potassium and fiber, just like peppers.
Tomatoes are the major dietary source of the antioxidant lycopene, which has been linked to many health benefits, including reduced risk of heart disease and cancer.
Kale is another of the superfoods in this dish. Full of nutrients it is said to help lower cholesterol among other health issues.
It’s also full of water which will help you to feel full if you’re trying to lose a bit of weight.
And if you ever thought that you can’t have pasta when you’re watching the calories, then you’re wrong.
Eating a healthy amount of carbs in the main meal is actually going to help keep you feeling fuller for longer.
For more meal ideas to help with your weight loss journey you can download a FREE 7-day meal plan.
Subscribe to get our FREE 7-Day Vegetarian High Protein Meal Plan for Weight Loss
How to make the best eggplant pasta?
Time needed: 25 minutes.
Here’s a quick rundown on how to make this eggplant pasta recipe:
- Prep time:
Not much to do here at all: Roughly chop garlic, and dice eggplant. Slice bell peppers or piquillo peppers. Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted water. Mix and cook until al dente. Then take the cooked pasta out, saving all the water (do not throw it away, once the pasta is cooked there will be just the right amount of excess liquid for the sauce).
- Cooking time:
In a large skillet add the olive oil over medium heat. Throw everything in until the eggplant is slightly brown and the tomatoes begin to burst and don’t forget that pasta water. Scrape the bottom to release any stuck bits of veggies – that’s full of flavor!
Dissolve cornstarch in a couple of tbsp of COLD water and add to the pot. Mix and boil until the texture of the liquid is like a sauce. (You may find you don’t need it so if your sauce is thick enough already skip this bit).
Add pasta and torn kale leaves. Fold into the veggies. If necessary, cook a couple of minutes more, until the sauce holds onto the pasta.
Taste and add black pepper per taste. Also, add extra salt if you need it. Top with basil leaves and serve.
Eggplant pasta FAQs
We’ve answered some of your questions on eggplant pasta recipes below:
No, you don’t need to peel eggplant. As you will see the skin adds a lovely purple color to the dish.
It’ll add a nice texture to any meal and help hold the vegetable together while it’s cooking.
You could serve this dish with a simple side salad or some garlic bread to finish the meal off nicely.
You could always make the veg and sauce mixture ahead and add to fresh pasta when you’re ready to serve. Although it will taste fresher to make it all on the same day if you can.
You can store eggplant in an airtight container for 5-7 days in the fridge.
You can store the finished dish for no more than 3 days in the fridge.
As for freezing: the sauce can be frozen, but without the spaghetti for up to 3 months.
To reheat the meal, add a portion to a microwave-safe bowl and heat in the microwave until it’s hot all the way through. Don’t add the basil leaves until after though or they will probably cook in there too.
Pasta – If you can’t get rigatoni some regular pasta will be fine. Or bulk up that fiber with brown pasta if you want to be super healthy. For a low carb option, try zucchini noodles instead.
Tomatoes – If you can’t find fresh tomatoes at your local store, you could easily create a fresh and healthy tomato sauce with plum tomatoes and tomato puree, no problem.
More recipes like this
If you like this here are some more simple recipes that I think you’ll love:
- 3 clove garlic
- 1 small eggplant (about 6 oz/170g)
- ⅓ cup roasted bell peppers in oil (or piquillo peppers)
- 3.5 oz pasta
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 cup small cherry tomatoes
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1.5 cup navy beans (~1 can, 15oz/425g)
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 ½ tbsp cornstarch
- 2 oz kale leaves (or cavolo nero, torn)
- 1 handful basil, fresh
- Roughly chop garlic.3 clove garlic
- Dice eggplant.1 small eggplant
- Slice bell peppers or piquillo peppers.⅓ cup roasted bell peppers in oil
- In a pot with 2 ½ cups of boiling water add 1 tsp of salt and the pasta. Mix and cook until al dente. Then take the pasta out, saving all the water (do not throw it away, we will use it later).3.5 oz pasta
- Meanwhile, in a large saucepan add the olive oil over medium heat. Add the eggplant and tomatoes and cook until the eggplant is slightly brown and the tomatoes begin to burst.2 tsp olive oil, 1 cup small cherry tomatoes
- Add garlic, peppers and sugar. Cook over high heat until the veggies are golden and caramelise with the sugar.1 tbsp sugar
- Add rinsed beans, thyme, rosemary, nutritional yeast and pasta water. Scrape the bottom to release any stuck bits of veggies.1.5 cup navy beans, 2 sprigs thyme, 1 sprig rosemary
- Dissolve cornstarch in a couple of tbsp of COLD water and add to the pot. Mix and boil until the texture of the liquid is like a sauce.1 ½ tbsp cornstarch
- Add pasta and torn kale leaves. Fold into the veggies. If necessary, cook a couple of minutes more, until the sauce holds onto the pasta.2 oz kale leaves
- Taste and add black pepper per taste. Also add extra salt if you need it.
- Top with basil leaves and serve.1 handful basil, fresh
I really hope you love this pasta dish with tomato and eggplant sauce.
I think it’s best served with a sprinkling of vegan parmesan cheese, green salad or some freshly baked garlic bread (this won’t be included in the nutritional information).
Whichever way you eat it it’s sure to go down a treat with the whole family.