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Paccheri alle Melanzane (Pasta with Fried Eggplant)


Chef notes

I love this recipe because it's a quick, summery dish that requires very little prep, and keeps kitchen mess to a minimum.

Swap option: Try making this recipe with zucchini instead of eggplant.


  • 1 medium Italian eggplant
  • Salt
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound dry paccheri or rigatoni pasta
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • One 16-ounce can cherry tomatoes in juice
  • 1 pinch Sicilian oregano
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 6 leaves fresh basil, thinly sliced
  • Four 4-ounce balls imported whole milk burrata cheese



Leaving the skin on, cut the eggplant into a medium size dice, dust with salt and set aside for 15 to 20 minutes.


Meanwhile bring a medium pot of lightly salted water to a boil and add a drizzle of olive oil.


Heat a sauté pan over high heat. Add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Once hot, add the eggplant and fry turning the pieces occasionally so they cook evenly.


Add the pasta to the water and set a timer for 12 minutes (or cook according to package directions).


When a brown color on the eggplant has been achieved, add the crushed garlic, cook briefly, then add the cherry tomatoes, Sicilian oregano and a couple ounces of pasta water and simmer.


As soon as the paccheri is cooked, drain and toss with the simmering sauce. Sprinkle in Parmigiano Reggiano, basil, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper.


Portion onto individual plates, top each with a ball of burrata and drizzle with olive oil.