Oven roasted eggplant and roasted red bell peppers in a made from scratch tomato sauce full of aromatics. This roasted eggplant and bell pepper pasta is the perfect vegetarian pasta dish that is rich in flavor and nutrients.
Prepping the Eggplant
To prep the eggplant, I first use my knife to lift the leaves and cut the stem off. Eggplant skin can be tough and bitter, so I then peeled the skin off with a vegetable peeler. Japanese eggplants have a more delicate skin, so if you want to make a dish with the skin on I would recommend that type of eggplant.
Next, I cut the eggplant into ½ inch long steaks, then proceeded to dice into ½ inch pieces. Due to the water content, the eggplant is going to shrink while it roasts. Make sure you don’t cut any smaller than ½ inch or else they will turn into burnt little crisps.
Bell Pepper Hack
Using a pairing knife, insert the knife at an angle and cut around the crown of the bell pepper. Once done, grab and twist the stem, then voila all the seeds are out! Then I cut the bell pepper down the middle, taking your pairing knife, shave out the white bitter parts. Proceed to dice into ½ inch pieces.
Roasting the vegetables
I added olive oil, salt, and fresh ground black pepper and tossed until all the pieces are fully coated. Then I spread them out on a baking sheet that I coated with non stick spray. You can also line the baking sheet with foil and then spray it, to make clean up much easier! Also, make sure the baking sheet isn’t too crowded or the vegetables won’t roast as well.
I roasted the eggplant and bell peppers on 425 degrees for 30-45 minutes. There is a variance on the time because of many factors: size of the dice, space in between veggies on the baking sheet, type of baking sheet. I checked on them every 15 minutes and used a metal spatula to flip them. Keep a close eye on them once they hit the 30 minute mark because they can burn quickly. I actually liked a few more ‘well done’ pieces to add texture to the dish.
Making pasta sauce from scratch
Making your own pasta sauce is way easier than you think. I love making my own because I like controlling what ingredients go into my sauce. Five ingredients plus some herbs is all it takes to make a homemade pasta sauce: olive oil, whole peeled tomatoes, tomato paste, shallot, garlic, and herbs!
I start the sauce by sautéing the shallot, garlic, and herbs in olive oil. I then add in a can of whole peeled tomatoes. Whole peeled tomatoes should be in your pantry at ALL times! To me they are the most pure form of canned tomato. When I buy diced or crushed they are super watery, the consistency can vary so much, and I always notice more questionable ingredients in them. By buying whole peeled tomatoes, you can dice them up, purée them, etc. yourself.
I covered the tomatoes, allowed them to break down and simmer for 15 minutes, then I used an immersion blender to make the sauce an even consistency. Once the sauce has been smoothed out, add in the roasted eggplant and red bell peppers. Stir to combine, taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
Completing the dish
While the sauce was simmering, I cooked a pot of rigatoni pasta on the side. You can use whichever pasta you prefer. Ensure to salt your pasta water prior to boiling to help flavor the pasta while it cooks. Remove from the heat once the pasta is al dente, because you’ll be stirring it into the sauce and it will cook a little more. Reserving a ¼ cup of pasta water is also key before draining.
Add the pasta into the sauce and continue to stir until all the pasta pieces are fully coated in the roasted eggplant red sauce. I added 1 tbsp of reserved pasta water to the dish to thicken the sauce.
Top with fresh basil and serve with freshly grated parmesan cheese! I hope you enjoy this oven roasted eggplant and red bell pepper pasta with homemade red sauce.
Check out these other pasta recipes!
- Creamy Pesto Pasta
- Penne Alla Vodka
- Blistered Tomato Pasta
- Bolognese Sauce
- Pesto Chicken Pasta Bake
- Sun-dried Tomato Broccolini Pasta
- Stuffed Shells
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Roasted Eggplant and Bell Pepper Pasta
- 1 ½ pounds eggplant peeled, cut into ½ inch dice
- 2 red bell peppers seeded/stem removed, cut into ½ inch dice
- 5 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 1 medium shallot peeled and minced
- 4 cloves garlic peeled and minced
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 28 ounces whole peeled tomatoes 1 large can
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 8 ounces rigatoni or pasta of choice
- Kosher salt
- Fresh ground black pepper
- Fresh basil
- Freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. In a large bowl, toss the diced eggplant and red bell peppers in 3 tbsp olive oil, 2 pinches of kosher salt and 1 pinch fresh ground black pepper. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray and spread the eggplant and bell peppers onto the baking sheet [see note]. Roast for 30 minutes flipping halfway through, then flip again and roast for 10 more minutes until veggies begin to char [see note]. Remove and set aside.
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil for the pasta.
- While the eggplant and bell peppers roast, in a dutch oven over medium heat, add in 2 tbsp of olive oil and minced shallot. Sauté for 2 minutes until they begin to turn translucent. Add in the garlic, thyme, red pepper flakes, oregano, pinch of salt and black pepper. Sauté for 1 minute until the garlic becomes fragrant. Add in the whole peeled tomatoes and it’s juices, the tomato paste, and allow to come to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove the lid and using an immersion blender, blend until the sauce has an even consistency. Once the eggplant and bell peppers are roasted, add them to the sauce, and stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary, allow to simmer while the pasta cooks.
- Cook the pasta according to package instructions until al dente. Reserve a ¼ cup of pasta water. Drain the pasta and add it to the pasta sauce. Stir until all of the pasta is coated with the sauce. Add in 1 tbsp of reserved pasta water to thicken the sauce. Serve with fresh basil and freshly grated parmesan cheese.
- Make sure you’re using a large enough baking sheet so the eggplant and peppers aren’t too crowded, this will affect them roasting.
- Monitor the eggplant closely the final 10 minutes because they can burn quickly
This recipe was so good! Added a little garlic powder, italian seasoning and added fresh mushrooms at the end. Topped with fresh basil/parm and more red pepper. Sooo good! My meat loving boyfriend got thirds!!
Thanks for sharing.
I’m so glad you both loved it Caroline! Great idea adding the mushrooms, I have to try that next time!
My young children and myself absolutely loved it !! So so tasty ! Followed it word for word. Yum
Yummy. Thanks Steph. I’ve been making new recipes each time I’ve cooked since Covid. This was easy and very tasty. Everyone liked the smoky, kinda meaty taste of the roasted vegetables. I also roasted up some mushrooms 🍄 for I didn’t have enough eggplant.
So glad you enjoyed it Max! Love that you added mushrooms, great idea.
This was great! Used fresh heirloom tomatoes from the garden and just roughly chopped seeds skin and all. After a good simmer and blend per directions you’d never know.
What a great way to use your freshly grown tomatoes! I’ll have to try it next time!