The inspiration for this recipe comes from my Mother-in-Law, Lin. She says she got this recipe from Marcella Hazan’s cookbook “The Classic Italian Cookbook”. I’ve since adapted this eggplant spaghetti recipe to use my fresh garden tomatoes instead of canned plum tomatoes, but both ways are perfect!
Eggplant spaghetti is absolutely one of my favorite comfort foods and mind-blowingly delicious for how simple it is. Freeze an extra batch of the sauce for a nostalgic taste of summer in the middle of winter.
Simple comfort food
I’ve yet to make it to Italy for a visit, but this recipe tastes like how I imagine dining al fresco in Tuscany would taste. This eggplant spaghetti recipe has very few ingredients and simple techniques, but there is something absolutely magical about the way they come together.
This recipe also makes a TON of food, so it’s great for a crowd or for a week’s worth of leftovers. Pair this recipe with a fresh green salad and a bottle of chianti. That’s good living!
Eggplant Spaghetti Ingredients
- Eggplant : Use large Italian eggplant for this recipe. You’ll be frying the eggplant separately before adding it to the tomato sauce. You want the most eggplant meat-to-skin ratio. I love the “Michal” or “Black Beauty” varieties.
- Tomatoes: My favorite tomatoes to use for eggplant spaghetti are yellow (and sometimes heirloom) slicers like Striped German, Marmalade and Blush. Their consistency is just perfect. You can also use in-season heirlooms like brandywine, cherokee purple, etc.
- Spaghetti: I’ve been using organic spaghetti from Whole Foods. Use 1 lb. of your favorite brand. I’ve tried making this with other shapes of pasta, and even gluten-free pasta (don’t do it), and it’s just not the same.
- Chili Flakes: I make my own chili flakes to use in this recipe and the flavor is incredible. If you’re using store-bought and enjoy the extra heat, double the amount of chili flakes in this recipe.
Questions about making eggplant spaghetti:
Do you have to peel eggplant?
No, you do not have to peel the eggplant. The skin of eggplant is edible when cooked. I leave the skin on to get all the nutrients from the plant, but you could certainly peel it if that is your personal preference.
What kind of eggplant should I use?
Use large Italian eggplant for this recipe.
Can this eggplant spaghetti be made vegan?
This eggplant spaghetti recipe is naturally vegan!
Can I freeze eggplant spaghetti?
I’m so glad you asked. YES! Make a batch of the sauce (leave out the pasta) and freeze it in a plastic quart container. Then, in the dead of winter, defrost a quart on the stove and add some freshly cooked spaghetti. You’ll be instantly transported to summer and this comforting dish will warm you from the inside, just when you need it most.
What kind of tomatoes should I use?
My absolute favorite tomatoes to use for this eggplant spaghetti recipe are yellow (sometimes heirloom) varieties like Striped German, Marmelade and Blush. It’s worth seeking out these varieties to use in this recipe, however you can also use whatever delicious in-season tomatoes you have.
- 2 medium Italian eggplants approx 2 lbs.
- 2-3 lbs heirloom tomatoes preferably yellow
- 2 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1 bunch parsley leaves only, chopped
- 1/2 tsp chili flakes
- 1 lb spaghetti
- olive oil
- Heat a large cast iron pan to medium and add a glug of olive oil.
- Slice eggplant length-wise into large strips. Fry eggplant in cast iron pan until brown and soft on both sides. Do not salt until after frying (this helps the eggplant not to stick). Remove from heat.
- In a wide saucepan with lid, heat a glug of olive oil. Add chili flakes, garlic and parsley and cook for 1 min.
- Add chopped heirloom tomatoes, salt and cover with lid until a chunky sauce forms. Stir occasionally.
- Chop fried eggplant into 1 inch strips and add to the tomato sauce. Cook for about 1-3 minutes to incorporate. Remove from heat.
- Cook pasta according to package directions (in salted water) and add drained pasta directly to eggplant/tomato sauce. Toss and serve immediately.
Did you make this recipe?
Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and tag @growingwithgertie on Instagram.
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