• Difficulty: Easy
  • Prep time:  20 mins
  • Cooking time: 55 mins
  • Serving: 4 people


1 batch Tomato Sauce (HERE THE RECIPE) or ready passata

2 or 3 medium aubergines (about 1.2 kg in total)

¼ cup + 2 teaspoons Sicilian INCANTO extra-virgin olive oil

¼ teaspoon fine salt, more to taste

350 gr. rigatoni, ziti or spaghetti

½ cup chopped fresh basil, plus a handful of small basil leaves or torn leaves for garnish

½ to 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, to taste (optional)

½ teaspoon dried oregano

¾ cup (45 gr.) finely grated Ricotta Salata and/or Parmesan cheese


Tomatoes sauce: Cook the sauce per instructions. If you’re using ready store-tomato sauce, warm it in a pot over medium-low heat while you cook the pasta.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to180 degrees, with racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Line two large, rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper for easy clean-up.

Use a vegetable peeler to shave off long alternating strips of eggplant peel. The eggplants will look striped like zebras when you’re done. Then slice the eggplants into ½-inch thick rounds, discarding the end pieces.

Place the eggplant on the lined baking sheets. Brush the rounds with olive oil on both sides. Sprinkle the aubergines with salt and plenty of pepper. Roast until deeply golden and tender, about 35 to 45 minutes, flipping after 20 minutes. Set aside.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta until al dente, according to package directions. Reserve some pasta cooking water before draining (about ½ cup should be plenty), then return the pasta to the pot.

When the aubergines are done and the marinara is finished cooking (or warmed through, if using store-bought), gently stir the roasted aubergines into the sauce. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon of olive oil, fresh basil, and red pepper flakes (skip if you don’t like spice or load it up if you do). Crush the dried oregano between your fingers as you drop it in.

Add the pasta to the sauce with a couple of tablespoons of the reserved pasta cooking water, and gently stir it in. Add about two-thirds of the cheese, reserving the rest for garnish. Season to taste with additional salt (I usually add ¼ teaspoon more) and black pepper. You can add a bit more of the reserved pasta cooking water to loosen up the sauce if desired.

Divide the pasta between four bowls. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top of the individual servings, followed by some extra fresh basil. For added richness, drizzle the servings lightly with olive oil. Enjoy! Leftover pasta will keep well in the refrigerator, covered, for 4 to 5 days.