This is my favorite eggplant pasta and soon to be yours too! When Joe and I went to Sicily, it was eggplant season. We ate eggplant at least twice a day every day. This is a version of a delicious pasta dish we ate in the mountains of Sicily.
Why this is my favorite eggplant pasta
I love the deep roasted flavor of the eggplant in the quickly cooked spicy tomato sauce. But what really puts this eggplant pasta over the top is the saltiness of the crumbled ricotta salata cheese tossed on the finished dish just before serving! It is worth seeking out this cheese. It really makes the dish.
Joe and I were able to find ricotta salata cheese locally for many years. One day, I decided to make this pasta and went to the store to buy some ricotta salata cheese. None of the stores in our area carried it anymore! We couldn’t understand it. So Joe found some online and had it shipped to us. Now we are stocked up and the freezer is full of this cheese. Ricotta salata cheese freezes well as it is crumbly and doesn’t melt anyway. Of course, after this incident, our local stores began selling the cheese again!
Different ways to use and prepare Eggplant
Every Italian or Sicilian loves eggplant. It can be used in pastas, made into caponata (sweet and sour eggplant salad), grilled, fried and even made into a dessert!
In this recipe, I roast the eggplant in the oven. I find it easier when you have lots of eggplant to cook it in the oven, instead of frying it. You can roast it on one large baking tray, turning it from time to time. If you fry it, you have to do it in batches and stand next to the stove the whole time. Plus, the grease splatters everywhere and it can get messy. Since I roast the eggplant in the oven, I can start the sauce while the eggplant cooks. Saving time, energy and a big mess!