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Eggplant & Roasted Red Pepper Pasta

I've already started to notice the daylight hours shifting and the days becoming shorter. Luckily, August is a beautiful time of year in Washington, so we still enjoy warm, sunny days that last long into the evening.

It also means everything is bursting with flavor and ripeness at the farmers markets and in my garden. Heat-loving plants like eggplant, peppers, and tomatoes are in their prime and I'm all about eating as much of them as I can while they last. I know not many people are familiar with cooking eggplant because they don't know what to do with it. I suggest you start by adding it to some of your already favorite familiar recipes, like pasta, for an easy switch. Try my recipe below with eggplant and roasted red peppers; it's perfect on a warm and breezy summer evening and make sure to use fresh herbs on top!

2 tablespoons olive oil


2-3 garlic cloves


1 lb eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch cubes


4-5 strips of roasted red peppers (or one whole red pepper, roasted and sliced), cut into small pieces


2 tablespoons finely chopped Kalamata olives


2 tablespoons red wine vinegar


1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste


1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper


1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes


12 ounces whole wheat spaghetti


1/4 cup chopped fresh basil or parsley

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, cook for 1 minute, then stir in the cubed eggplant. Stir occasionally for about 5-6 minutes or until the eggplant begins to soften. Stir in the roasted red peppers, olives, vinegar, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Continue cooking for another 3-4 minutes so everything is heated through. Add more salt to taste. Meanwhile bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add in the pasta and cook according to package instructions or until al dente.
To serve, spoon the sauce over each plate of pasta and sprinkle with basil and/or parsley.
Serves 4-6