Eggplant Caponata Pasta

This eggplant caponata pasta idea AND wine pairing is inspired by dinner at Ripe Cooperative in Portland. The fresh breadcrumbs add an extra delicious crunch while also soaking in more delicious sauce. August is a great time for this recipe, because almost EVERYTHING is in season in Oregon!

Pair with a light, crisp rosé, like Quady North GSM Rosé.

Prep It

  • 1 lb pasta (we used ziti but whatever will hold a chunky sauce well!)
  • 1 eggplant, peeled and diced
  • 6 roma or plum tomatoes
  • Olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Ricotta (optional)

Make It

First, prepare tomatoes. Bring a pot of water to a boil, and slice an X on the bottom of each tomato. Dunk the tomatoes in boiling water, for about 1 – 2 minutes, until the skin starts peeling back. Immediately transfer tomatoes to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Once cooled, peel skin off and core tomatoes. Roughly chop the tomatoes, and set aside.

Heat a glug of olive oil on medium heat in a high-walled sauté pan. Add eggplant, sautéing until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add onions and garlic, cooking until golden brown. Then, add tomatoes, tomato paste, and oregano. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 15 minutes, until thickened.

Meanwhile, cook your pasta, because pasta never waits for sauce! Don’t forget to salt your water.

Once the sauce is thickened, add red wine vinegar, sugar, breadcrumbs, and salt and pepper to taste. Serve sauce on top of pasta, with a dollop of ricotta or freshly grated parmesan if desired.

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