Eggplant Tomato Pasta Bake

Eggplant Tomato Pasta Bake
This eggplant tomato pasta bake recipe is such a beautiful winter warmer. It's vegetarian but hearty, lots of cheese (non negotiable), the perfect amount of golden brown crust, and great for a weeknight or Sunday night dinner with amazing lunch leftovers if you're serving less than 6 people.


  • 3 medium eggplants
  • ½ cup olive oil (plus extra for baking the eggplants)
  • ½ bunch basil, leaves picked
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely sliced
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 3 x 400g tins whole tomatoes (I like the Mutti brand)
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes (optional)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 500g short, large pasta (such as large spirals or rigatoni)
  • 500g firm ricotta cheese
  • 100g finely grated Parmesan
  • 200g fresh mozzarella

Serves 6


  1. Preheat oven to 200°C.
  2. Cut eggplants into 3cm pieces and place on a lined baking tray. Drizzle generously with olive oil (each piece of eggplant should have a little oil on), sprinkle with salt and roast until golden brown (around 20 minutes).
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the tomato sauce. Heat olive oil over low heat in a large pan.
  4. Add garlic and basil leaves and slowly simmer until garlic is very lightly golden (5-10 minutes).
  5. Remove garlic and basil from oil, reserve.
  6. Sauté onion in the oil until softened.
  7. Add back garlic and basil, tinned tomatoes (crush them in your hand as you add them in), sugar and chilli flakes (optional).
  8. Cook, stirring occasionally, on low for 45 minutes - 1 hour. It’s ready when the sauce has thickened, and tomatoes have begun to soften and break down into the sauce.
  9. Meanwhile, cook pasta in salty water until well before al dente (I’d subtract 4 mins off the suggested cooking time). Reserve ½ cup of pasta water.
  10. Add pasta, eggplant and reserved pasta water to tomato sauce and stir until combined.
  11. Add ricotta to a bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  12. Reduce the oven temperature to 180°C.
  13. Spoon half the tomato pasta into a baking dish (I use a 25x40cm lasagne tray). Evenly dot half the ricotta mix on the first layer. Spoon the second half of pasta mix, then top with remaining ricotta, torn mozzarella and finish with Parmesan.
  14. Bake until bubbling at the sides (approx 20 mins), then finish under the grill until the cheese is perfectly golden brown (don’t walk away from it when it’s under the grill cos it can go from beautiful to burnt in about 10 seconds!). You may want to line a baking tray with alfoil and place it underneath to catch any drippings.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.