This easy cherry tomato eggplant pasta is packed with flavor and a kick of spicy heat thanks to minced red chilies and garlic.
- 1 medium eggplant, diced
- 10 ounces penne
- 2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 Fresno chili, thinly sliced
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, half whole tomatoes and the rest sliced in half
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- Chopped parsley for serving
- Shaved Parmesan for serving
- Toss the eggplant with 1 teaspoon salt in a colander. Let it sit for 20 minutes to get out the excess moisture. Pat the eggplant dry with a towel.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta until al dente according to package instructions.
- While the pasta is cooking, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Sauté the eggplant in 2 batches until it starts to brown and turn soft, about 3-4 minutes. Return all the cooked eggplant to the skillet.
- Add the garlic and chilies to the eggplant, sautéing until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Stir in the tomatoes, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Continue cooking the tomatoes, so they get juicy and wrinkled, about 3 minutes.
- When the pasta is ready, use a slotted spoon to transfer it straight from the pot to the skillet. Stir it into the tomatoes and eggplant.
- Finish the pasta with chopped parsley and shaved Parmesan before serving.
Do not skip salting the eggplant. Drawing out some of the water will help when you sauté it because it won’t absorb all the oil in the skillet.
If you don’t like your food too spicy, you can mince half or a quarter of a Fresno chili. Or omit the chili and just add a pinch of red pepper flakes.
If you don’t have penne pasta, you can substitute with rigatoni.
In addition to parsley, you can also add fresh basil.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 3 days. Eat them cold with greens as a pasta salad. Or warm them on the stove with a little oil or in the microwave.
Keywords: eggplant pasta