Bucatini with Roasted Eggplant and Cherry Tomato Sauce
This quick and easy fresh tomato sauce, mixed with silky roasted eggplant and herbs, is a perfect late-summer dinner for when the evenings start to cool down. Red pepper flakes are an optional addition for a bit of heat and can be reduced or omitted to make a mild sauce.
Roast the Eggplant
Roast the Eggplant
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Toss eggplant cubes and 1 tablespoon kosher salt in a colander set inside of a bowl. Let stand for 30 minutes. Discard any liquid in the bowl, rinse eggplant cubes, and dry well.
- On a large baking sheet (line with foil for easy cleanup), toss together eggplant, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and a few grinds of black pepper. Roast for 20 minutes. Flip eggplant cubes, and continue roasting for 10-15 minutes more, until eggplant is tender and browned.
- While eggplant is cooking, heat 1/2 cup olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add cherry tomatoes, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and a few grinds of black pepper. Cook until tomato skins begin to blister, pressing down on the tomatoes with the black of a wooden spoon to help them burst and release their juices. Add the crushed red pepper flakes, if using.
- Lower heat and simmer until tomatoes are soft and the sauce is thickened, about 15 minutes.**
- Stir in roasted eggplant, basil, and oregano. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Cook bucatini to "al-dente" in a pot of salted, boiling water. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking water and drain pasta in a colander. Add pasta to the sauce skillet and toss to combine over medium heat. Add reserved pasta cooking water, as needed, to bring the sauce to a consistency that coats the pasta.
- Serve in warm bowls, with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, and grated ricotta salata on the top.