Eggplant Pasta

Total Time:
50 min
40 min
10 min

4 servings

  • 2 medium-large eggplants
  • Kosher salt, for purging
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon chile flakes
  • 4 small tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 4 tablespoons basil chiffonade
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • Freshly ground pepper

Peel each eggplant leaving 1-inch of skin at the top and bottom unpeeled. Slice the eggplant thinly lengthwise, about 1/4-inch thick. Evenly coat each slice with the salt and purge on a sheet pan fitted with a rack for 30 minutes. Rinse with cold water and roll in paper towels to dry. Slice the pieces into thin strips to resemble pasta.

In a large saute pan heat the oil. Add the garlic and chili flakes and toast. Add the eggplant "pasta" and toss to coat. Add the tomatoes and cook for 3 minutes. Add the cream and increase heat to thicken sauce. Finally add the basil and Parmesan and toss to combine. Season with pepper, no salt needed as the eggplant will have residual salt from the purge. Serve immediately.

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    54 Reviews
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    I have made this a few times and I just love it!
    We love eggplant. Our son made this for us one night, and we were hooked. We have made it over and over.
    The flavors were beautiful, however the texture and sight did not match the taste. The recipe made a rather large amount, too much even. 
    Probably wont be making this dish again, but if I did, I would spend even more time making the eggplant "spaghetti" size.
    We wanted to love this, but couldn't. My family does like eggplant and this looked like a great idea. Husband said "loved the ingenuity, loved the sauce." We did not, however, love the eggpalnt "pasta" at all. Like ILUVPASTA said below, this became a "throwaway" dinner, which makes me want to cry. The process, however, was easy (minus prepping the eggplant and the sauce was very tasty. My family wants to try this recipe with just the sauce and regular pasta, ravioli, gnocchi. Sorry, Alton! I love you, but this one was a fail for us. :(
    This dish was not a hit in my house. It was also a lot of work to prepare the eggplant. Even though this dish turned into a "throwaway" dish, I am curious to try out this recipe again -- with regular pasta instead of the eggplant strips. I REALLY enjoyed the the flavor of the sauce, but just not together with the eggplant!
    Nothing special and too much work for what the recipe is supposed to be: a simple sauce. I'm an eggplant lover but next time I will simply make ratatouille because that is really all this tastes like minus the onions and red peppers i.e. not as flavourful. I added cream but didn't find that it added to this particular dish. If you love tomato sauce with cream like me, just make a rose sauce without the eggplant.  
    I find salting and letting the eggplant for 30 min an unnecessary step that can be easily skipped without affecting the outcome of the recipe. The French don't employ this step with ratatouille; the stickers on the eggplant provide cooking instructions and they never mention this step either. You'd think the eggplant farmers/producers would know what they are talking about! If you insist on making this recipe, skip the salting step!!  
    If you're short on time, broil the eggplant 4 min each side - you'll save 10-12 min off the cooking time. Brush with olive oil & salt.
    I give it a four for flavor- it was so full and rich! However, I couldn't get around the texture of the eggplant. Maybe I did it wrong? (I don't think so It was easy and, besides the eggplant, were things that I already have around the house. I think I will try this instead as a pureed pasta sauce, since I couldn't handle the slimy texture. My only other complaint is that this meal did not look appetizing. I almost chunked it before I tried it because it just looked...well...gross. But try it! Maybe you'll be able to handle the texture!
    I wasn't a huge fan of the eggplant in this dish, but that was probably my own fault for not cutting it thin enough and not draining it enough. That said, the sauce was FANTASTIC. I've used the sauce recipe several times now, on penne, spaghetti, and whole wheat gnocchi. It's great on all of them, but I have to say it's AMAZING on the gnocchi. I cook the gnocchi just shy of done, then toast it in a pan before coating it in the sauce and letting it finish up in there. Yum. It's my favorite go-to pasta sauce when I want a light, fresh, quick dinner. Minus one star for the eggplant (again, my personal issues), but the sauce deserves 5!
    I love eggplant already but really like this recipe, not sure how you could mess this up except using regular salt instead of Kosher, I didn't bother to salt mine as I used an Asian thought it went together easily and it was quite tasty. Definitely a keeper. Thanks again Alton you have lots of fans in Michigan!
    Husband wants me to make again. This is man who regularly accuses me of trying to kill him with healthy food. (I'm not of course - I'm trying to keep him alive longer so I can continue to torture him!) But I digress. Oddly, I am a veggie lover & didn't like so much. Thought the cream was a bit strange. But no matter. Very labor intensive - will use mandoline next time. MANY THANKS to reviewers who noted to cook the eggplant til browning. I cut recipe in half and still worked fine.
    The flavors in this dish are AWESOME. I wasn't sure because of how simple they are but it's a perfect combination. I really liked the texture of the eggplant "pasta" but my husband didn't love it. It's hardy enough to be eaten as a main dish alone. YUM!
     I didn't have any cream or parmesan on hand so I subbed half and half and asiago and it worked fine.
    It was awesome.
    I served this at a dinner party last night and everyone raved about it. I noticed people getting seconds and one person a third helping. Everything in the recipe was from our garden except the cream and parmesan cheese. This will become a family favorite for us!
    My husband and I have made this dish twice and love it. The first time we manually cut the eggplant slices, but since they were uneven I didn't enjoy it as much because the noodles were chewy and bitter. The second time I used a mandoline to make thin even slices and then purged the water from the "pasta" and it turned out much better. I also like my food on the spicy side and added more crushed red pepper. A great way to introduce someone to eggplant.
    I bought a fresh eggplant at the farmers market this morning and went searching for an eggplant recipe. WOW!! This recipe proved to be a keeper.
     I used canned tomatoes since I did not have fresh onhand. Since I am cutting back I only used 1/8 cup cream and 1/8 cup fat free half and half. The sauce was thick and creamy and coated the "pasta" perfectly. I topped it off with fresh basil from my garden. I will definetely make this again.
    Delicious! And very healthy and creative. I used fat free half and half, doubled the red pepper, garlic and basil and it was great. I used a mandoline to slice the eggplant, which sped up the prep time. A few things I'll do differently next time-- the "noodles" can be sliced very thin. I sliced them a bit too thick (thinking that any thinner would result in the eggplant turning into mush) but I didn't need to, they stayed very al dente. Also, after you add the cream or half and half, it takes about 7-8 minutes on medium high heat to finish cooking.
    Cutting the eggplant into "noodles" was a bit tedious but well worth it! I thought this dish was delicious! And it makes good leftovers.
     The sauce is great and I have made it to accompany other pasta dishes as well.
    I never write reviews, but I felt this recipe truly deserved one. This is an excellent, hearty dish and is quite filling due to the spice from the pepper. I've had it several times so far and I enjoy it more and more each time. I've had it with both regular tomotoes and also sundried tomatoes and either way was great. Thanks for the wonderful recipe, Alton!
    I have many food allergies and am always looking for things I can make to replace pasta. I made the recipe just a little bit differently since I am allergic to dairy. I purged and then browned the eggplant in the olive oil with garlic and red pepper flakes. Then I tossed in the tomatoes and added a little almond milk. I added basil and left out the cheese but added some cooked sausage at the end and tossed it all together. It was delicious and allergy friendly!
    My boyfriend loves eggplant so I tried this recipe since it was easy and I've never made eggplant before. He raved about it, and said I can make it any time I want. I didn't change anything in the recipe, and made sure to purge the eggplant beforehand, and brown it before adding the tomatoes. Thanks Alton!
    you need to brown the eggplant, he doesn't make that clear. I roast it in the oven to save some fat until it's browned then put the sauce on top just before serving so it's not mushy. If you don't actually cook the eggplant first and get it crispy or at least a browned shell I can see how it would be awful.
    This was easy to make, I substituted 1 carton (the small Chobani plain no fat kind) Greek yogurt for cream and dried basil for the basil chiffonade. It tasted great, and was easier and healthier!
     Oh, I also didn't understand why you had to leave some of the skin on the eggplants so I didn't do that.
     Thanks Alton!!
    I watched the TV episode and did everything Alton did (I thought), but didn't get the results he did. Since everyone else seems to have positive things to say, I guess I did something wrong.
     The sauce was excellent, but the eggplant had a bitter taste and was as chewy as rubber.
     I make a lot of Alton's recipes, but I guess I'll have to shelve this one.
    I have tried many pasta look a- likes but this dish is fantastic!!! great for low carbers ! I used a little more cheese!!! Superb!!!!!!
    This was a spicy delight. I used dried basil, a little soy milk and half & half instead of cream. What made it spectacular is I added fresh jumbo shrimp. It was absolutely delicious. Next time I may try bite-sized chunks of chicken breast.
     You wouldn't believe this was a lite meal, because I am dieting and need some variety in my life. Thanks
    This dish is wonderful. It's presentation is beautiful, makes eggplant(that at times can be bland) into a spicy tasty treat! I didn't have the chile flakes so I used red pepper flakes and the dish had a delightful kick to it. If I hadn't made it myself, someone might have had to tell me that the "noodles" were eggplant! Plan to make it often!
    This recipe is excellent! You can save a lot of time and effort by using Asian/Japanese eggplants instead of regular - then you can skip the salting process. Just cut to size then add salt to taste at the end.
    This is good stuff- even with dried basil instead of fresh. I made this as a side for a dish of sauteed lobster. I tell you now it was a horse race to see who would trump who. This stuff is damn tasty.
     The next time you make this remembered to include some sauteed onions to go on top. That taste good.
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