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Oblique view of a pasta recipe make with caramelized eggplant and pesto sitting on a white, ceramic plate.

Caramelized Eggplant and Pesto Pasta

  • Author: Raquel Smith
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x


A quick weeknight summer dinner featuring everybody’s favorite vegetable to pick on – eggplant. Prepared correctly, it yields a melt-in-your-mouth texture and a complex sweetness that leaves you craving more! A simple pesto recipe to coat the noodles, and sweet, ripe cherry tomatoes bring it all together.



For the Eggplant:

  • 2 medium (6″ long and skinny) eggplant, preferably the Japanese variety
  • salt
  • 35 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

For the Pesto and Pasta:


For the Eggplant:

  1. Cut the eggplant into a 1/2-inch dice. Place in a colander set atop a couple paper towels (or something to catch the drips) and sprinkle very generously with salt. Toss well and let sit for 30 minutes or so. You should see beads of water form on the surface of the eggplant. Rinse briefly but thoroughly with water. Shake off as much of water as you can, or pat dry with paper towels.
  2. Warm 3 Tbsp of olive oil in a large skillet and add the eggplant. Cook over medium to medium-high heat, tossing every few minutes, until nicely browned on all sides.

For the Pesto and Pasta:

  1. While the eggplant sweats (in the salt), boil a large pot of water and cook the noodles according to package instructions. Slice your tomatoes and set aside.
  2. Place all remaining pesto ingredients in a food processor and process until mostly smooth. If it won’t run through the blades, you can add more oil. Add more lemon juice, cayenne, salt, or pepper according to your taste preferences.
  3. Drain the pasta and toss to coat evenly with the pesto. Add the eggplant and tomatoes, and gently toss to combine. Serve immediately.
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: Vegan, Pasta, Pesto, Italian, Comfort Food, eggplant, tomato