Penne Pasta with Spicy Tomato & Eggplant Sauce

Stefanie Paganini 8 Servings 30 minutes

The best and easiest Penne Pasta with Spicy Tomato & Eggplant Sauce you’ll ever make—and eat!


  • 1 pound dried penne pasta
  • Salt for pasta water
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 1 long eggplant, cubed
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (more to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh black pepper
  • 2 pounds fresh roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon fresh basil, chopped
  • ¼ cup Kalamata olives
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 cup Parmesan or Romano cheese


  • Boil water in a large stock pot to cook pasta. Add enough salt to the water to make it taste like salt water “salt like the sea”.
  • Cook pasta until al dente.
  • While heating water and cooking pasta, heat oil in a large skillet. Add onion and eggplant, red pepper flakes and black pepper. Cook for 5-8 minutes. Add fresh tomatoes and garlic. Add tomato sauce. Cook on high heat to reduce. Cook sauce until it thickens, approximately 10-12 minutes. Add fresh basil and olives to the sauce. Salt to taste.
  • Drain pasta from water and mix together pasta and sauce thoroughly.
  • Plate each dish and sprinkle generously with cheese. Serve immediately