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5 from 3 votes

Baked Eggplant Pasta

Baked eggplant pasta combines roasted eggplant, mozzarella, ricotta, basil, and rigatoni tossed with a tomato sauce and baked until golden and bubbly.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time1 hour 35 minutes
Course: Main Course, pasta
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 8


For the sauce

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 4 cloves garlic sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes optional
  • 3 ounces tomato paste
  • 2 28 ounce can plum tomatoes hand crushed or blender pulsed
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the baked pasta

  • 2 medium eggplants cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 pound rigatoni or ziti, tortiglioni, penne, etc
  • 1/4 packed cup basil leaves chopped
  • 1 pound mozzarella shredded, divided
  • 1 pound ricotta
  • 1/2 cup Pecorino Romano grated


  • Preheat oven to 425f and set the racks near the middle level.
  • Toss the cubed eggplant with a 3/4 cup of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread the eggplant out onto baking trays (probably will need 2 trays) and roast in the oven for 20-30 minutes. Turn the eggplant at halfway point. The eggplant is done when it is well browned and soft when pierced with a knife.
  • Meanwhile, make the sauce. Heat a large saucepan to medium-low heat and add the extra virgin olive oil and the onion. Saute until soft (5-7 minutes) then add the garlic and saute for 2-3 minutes more or until fragrant. Add the hot red pepper flakes and cook for another 30 seconds.
  • Add the tomato paste and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the plum tomatoes and bring the sauce to a lively simmer.
  • Cook for at least 15 minutes uncovered at a low simmer, stirring frequently to avoid any sticking. Taste-test the sauce and adjust salt and pepper if required.
  • Bring a pot of salted water to boil and cook the pasta until 2 minutes less than al dente.
  • In a very large bowl mix the pasta with 3 1/2 cups of sauce, chopped basil, all of the ricotta, Pecorino Romano, and 3/4 of the mozzarella cheese. Mix until smooth and creamy. Add 3/4 of the roasted eggplant and fold it in gently.
  • Reduce the oven temperature to 375f and coat a 9x13" baking dish with 1 cup of sauce. Pour the pasta into the dish and top with the remaining mozzarella cheese and roasted eggplant. Add another 1/2 cup of sauce on top as well.
  • Bake the pasta for 25 minutes or until browned on top. For extra color broil for 1-2 more minutes but watch carefully! Wait at least 10-15 minutes before eating so that the pasta settles. Enjoy!



  • Makes 8 moderate-sized or 4-6 large portions.
  • Undercook the pasta! Fully boiled pasta will become mushy after baking for another 25 minutes, so shoot for a bit firmer than al dente or about 2 minutes less than the box instructions.
  • Bake the pasta until the cheese is bubbly and slightly browned on top.  For extra color, broil for 1-2 minutes, but watch very carefully to avoid burning.
  • Leftovers can be saved in the fridge for up to 3 days.


Calories: 1041kcal | Carbohydrates: 87.5g | Protein: 41.6g | Fat: 61.9g | Saturated Fat: 21.6g | Cholesterol: 82mg | Sodium: 1130mg | Potassium: 1158mg | Fiber: 11.9g | Sugar: 19.3g | Calcium: 726mg | Iron: 3mg