Though I feel bad admitting this, I just can't fry eggplant. It comes out oil-laden, greasy, and disgusting. Doesn't matter what I do, or how much precaution I take, it's always the same. But, I can roast eggplants. And, man, do I love the way roasted eggplants taste. Even though I was down to two recipes that had roughly the same ingredients, I picked this one almost exclusively because the eggplant was roasted.

The winner was from Alice Waters' Chez Panisse Vegetables. I did change a few things. She called for penne, which I substituted for gemelli. And she finished the dish with ricotta, which I simply didn't have. I do think the 1/4 pound of ricotta sprinkle on top would up the ante in this already fantastic dish. Maybe next time. Another added benefit: the splash of Sherry vinegar, which brightens the dish and gives it a slight tinge of sweetness. And for the record, that eggplant came out perfectly.


  • 1 large eggplant, or two smaller Japanese eggplants
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 pound pasta
  • Sherry vinegar
  • 1 cup diced tomato
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Salt
  • Directions

    1. 1.

      Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the eggplant in 1/2 inch cubes. Toss them with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large bowl until they are coated. Place them on a roasting pan in a single layer and roast for 25 or until they are soft.

    2. 2.

      Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook the pasta according to instructions on the box. Drain.

    3. 3.

      Heat a large skillet to medium. Pour in the other 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the onion and saute until they are starting to color. Add the garlic, cook for 30 seconds, and then deglaze the pan with a splash of Sherry vinegar.

    4. 4.

      Dump the eggplant into the skillet along with the diced tomato, red pepper flakes, and basil. Bring the mixture to a simmer then add the pasta. Toss until the pasta is coated. Season with salt and sprinkle with the parsley.