This hearty eggplant pasta is packed with spicy flavor, fresh herbs, juicy tomatoes, and tender chunks of eggplant A naturally vegan and optionally gluten-free pasta dinner that will please all appetites and is easy enough for a weeknight!
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook it according to the package directions.
Drain the pasta into a colander, return it to the pot, and toss it with a dash of olive oil.
Coat the bottom of a large pot with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and place it over medium heat.
When the oil is hot, add the onion. Sweat the onion for about 5 minutes, until soft and translucent.
Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more, until very fragrant.
Stir in the diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, capers and red pepper flakes.
Bring the sauce to a simmer, and allow it to cook, uncovered, for about 15 minutes, until it thickens up a bit. You can add a splash of water if it becomes too thick.
While the sauce simmers, coat the bottom of a large skillet with the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and place it over medium heat.
When the oil is hot, add the eggplant. Cook the eggplant for about 10 minutes, flipping it once or twice, until the pieces are soft and browned in spots.
When the sauce is finished simmering, stir in the eggplant, parsley and basil.
Remove the pot from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Pour the sauce over the pasta and toss to coat,
Divide onto plates and serve. Sprinkle with additional parsley and basil, if desired.