Pasta with roasted eggplant and bell peppers is a simple and weeknight main dish, welcome almost any time of year. Roasting vegetables is one of the best ways to bring out their natural sweetness (in the case of peppers), and flavor (in the case of eggplant).
During the summer months, you can grill the vegetables instead of roasting them in the oven. Just add a colorful green salad — dark green lettuce, and/or spinach, tomatoes, carrots, olives, and chickpeas. Another great addition to this dish is a super-easy vegan Parmesan; see below.
Easiest Vegan Parmesan-Style Topping
Homemade vegan Parmesan is usually a combination of nutritional yeast plus ground cashews or almonds.
This version is even easier because you don’t need a machine to make it. Just two ingredients — almond flour (found in most natural foods stores) and nutritional yeast, fondly known as “nooch” — and you’ve got a great topping for pasta dishes like this one featuring spaghetti and zucchini noodles.
A tablespoon or two of this topping provides you with a nice dose of Vitamin B12 (from the nutritional yeast), and almond flour is a great source of Vitamin E and calcium.
What to do: Simply combine a more or less equal amount of nutritional yeast and almond flour in a small container. I usually go with 1/2 cup of each. For that amount, I add 1/4 teaspoon of salt; add your salt to taste. Mix it up well, then cover any unused portion tightly. This will keep well in the fridge almost indefinitely, but there’s no way you’ll make it last that long!
- 1 large eggplant, diced
- 1 medium orange or yellow bell pepper, cut into small strips
- 1 medium red bell pepper, into small strips
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup chopped ripe tomato
- 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 10 to 12 ounces pasta, any long or short shape
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
For serving (optional)
- Dried hot red pepper flakes
- Fresh basil leaves, whole or sliced, or chopped parsley
- Prepared Vegan Parmesan or easy vegan Parmesan (see how-to just above the recipe box)
- Preheat the oven to 425º F.
- Combine the eggplant and peppers in a mixing bowl. Drizzle in half of the olive oil.
- Arrange the eggplant and peppers in a parchment-lined roasting pan. Roast 20 minutes, then stir in the tomatoes and garlic. Roast for 10 to 15 longer, or until the eggplant and peppers are touched with brown spots here and there.
- Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente, then drain. Return to the pot. Stir in the remaining olive oil, Italian seasoning, and paprika.
- When the vegetables are done, stir them in with the pasta and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- If you’d like, transfer the pasta to a serving container, or serve straight from the cooking pot.
- Pass around any or all of the optional ingredients — red pepper flakes, fresh herb, and/or vegan Parmesan.
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See more delicious vegan pasta and noodle dishes.
Photos: Yuliya Furman/Bigstock