This aubergine spaghetti recipe is just amazing! Pasta coated in a creamy aubergine garlic sauce, you will not be able to stop eating it.
This is the best way of eating aubergines I could possibly imagine. I really love aubergines or eggplants, I eat them in many ways and I always love them, but this simple eggplant sauce with garlic is incredible.
Unctuous and creamy, a little garlicky, with a slight note of sharpness added by the dried tomatoes, this aubergine spaghetti recipe will certainly become a favorite way of eating aubergines.
- I use spaghetti, I find them very suitable for this aubergine sauce. If using another kind of pasta, try some smaller/thinner shapes, not something large and sturdy like penne.
Aubergines or eggplants:
- Regular Italian aubergines/eggplants.
- 450 g/ 1 lbs of aubergines are about 2 medium around here, a little more or less would be fine.
- I use whatever I happen to have: either dried tomatoes in oil or dried tomatoes sold in a bag.
- If using dried tomatoes in oil, you can replace about half of the olive oil with oil from the tomatoes.
- If using dried tomatoes from a bag, chop them finely and add them to the sauce from the beginning, they will need that time to get nice and soft.
- Thyme or oregano.
- Fresh would be perfect, but if all you have is dried herbs, they are fine as well. I use them often myself.
- However, the basil for the garnish should be fresh, if you don’t have fresh basil, just leave it out of the recipe, no basil is better than dried basil.
- You will need a nice amount of olive oil to make the aubergine spaghetti.
- It is more than I usually would use in cooking a regular sauce, but the aubergines just need it.
- I’ve tried making the sauce with only 2 tablespoons of olive oil once, and it just wasn’t the same…
Why salt the aubergines?
- Salting them before cooking them was the way to go in the past, my grandmother always did it when cooking aubergines in any other way than roasting them on the stove.
- I definitely remember her saying that she has to do that because they are bitter, and salting them would help reduce the bitterness. And when she roasted the aubergines, she removed the burnt skin and left the aubergines to drain in a sieve for hours so that the bitter juice will be removed.
- Nowadays, salting the aubergines to reduce the bitterness is not necessary, as the bitterness has now been bred out of aubergines.
- However, there is another reason why you should salt the aubergines before frying them. The salt helps collapse the cell walls of the vegetable, and that will reduce the oil amount that the aubergines will soak up during frying. And that is always a good thing!
How to make?
- After salting and drying the eggplant cubes, fry them after the garlic.
- Add chopped tomatoes, herbs and stock.
- Bring everything to a boil, cover the pan leaving a crack open and let cook for about 20 minutes until the liquid has evaporated and the aubergines are very soft.
- If there is too much liquid left in the pan by the time the aubergines are soft, just take away the lid and let the sauce bubble for a little while longer.
- Mash with a fork, add basil, season and mix with the spaghetti.
- Serve with some grated Parmesan if desired.
I found the recipe for the eggplant pasta on The Wednesday Chef many years ago, it was one of the first blog recipes I’ve ever cooked, and I’ve cooked it dozens of times ever since.
More aubergine recipes
EGGPLANT PASTA SAUCE – A comforting pasta dish featuring one of my favorite vegetables in the world.
EGGPLANT STEW – An incredibly aromatic eggplant stew in garlic tomato sauce, a vegan eggplant recipe that you will make over and over again.
ZACUSCA – Romanian, vegan vegetable spread with eggplants and peppers.
PERSIAN EGGPLANT DIP – A very easy to make and delightful Iranian recipe for eggplant or aubergine and tomato dip with yogurt.
AJVAR RECIPE – A smoky roasted red pepper dip with eggplants.
- 1 lb aubergines/eggplants
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2 sprigs thyme/oregano a generous pinch of dried herbs works as well
- 1 cup vegetable or chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons dried tomatoes chopped
- basil leaves
- 1 lb spaghetti
- grated Parmesan to serve
- Cut the aubergines into chunky cubes, sprinkle them with some salt and let them sit for 20 minutes. Dry them off with kitchen paper, pressing lightly.
- Saute: Peel the garlic cloves, smash them slightly but leave them whole. Heat the olive oil in a wide non-stick pan and add the garlic cloves. Turn the heat to low and fry the garlic, stirring often, until it starts to sizzle and smell. Don't let it burn.
- Add the aubergines, stir to coat them in oil, and cook on medium heat until translucent and soft.
- Simmer: Add the chopped tomatoes, herbs, and stock. Bring everything to a boil, cover the pan leaving a crack open and let cook for about 20 minutes until the liquid has evaporated and the aubergines are very soft. If there is too much liquid left in the pan by the time the aubergines are soft, just take away the lid and let the sauce bubble for a little while longer.
- Cook pasta: While the sauce is cooking, start cooking the spaghetti.
- Mix: Mash the aubergines with a fork, add the sliced basil leaves, season to taste, and mix with the spaghetti. Serve with some grated Parmesan if desired.