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Caramelized Onion, Tomato, and Eggplant Pasta

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5 from 8 reviews



  • 1 to 2 globe eggplants, diced to yield 4 to 6 cups 
  • olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced to yield about 2 cups 
  • 3/4 lb. pasta such as Gemelli or whatever you like best
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or sliced
  • red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons sherry (or other) vinegar
  • 2 cups tomato sauce (I like this tomato-basil sauce or Marcella Hazan’s Tomato Sauce)
  • handful fresh basil
  • ricotta salata cheese or Parmigiano Reggiano
  • freshly cracked black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Cut the eggplants into cubes about 3/4-inch square, toss them with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a big pinch of salt. Spread them out in a single layer on a sheet pan (parchment-lined, if you wish, for easy cleanup). Roast in the oven for 25 minutes or until the eggplant is light brown and tender.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a tablespoon of kosher salt. Cook the pasta al dente.
  3. Meanwhile, heat a large sauté pan with 2 tablespoons olive oil and the onions over medium heat. Season with salt and sauté over medium to medium-low heat until the onions are just caramelized, 20 minutes to 25 minutes. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper flakes, and cook for 30 seconds; then  deglaze with the sherry vinegar. Add the tomato sauce and eggplant. Heat the sauce to simmering. Drain the pasta, add it to the tomato sauce pan, and toss gently. Taste. Adjust with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. To finish, add the basil and stir to combine. Serve the pasta with shaved cheese over the top and more pepper if you wish, too. 
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Category: Pasta
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian