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The New Veganism: Spicy Vegan Eggplant Pasta

By Gena Hamshaw / Photography By James Ransom | September 19, 2013

Spicy Vegan Eggplant Pasta

Certain vegetables go a little further than others in creating “meaty” texture in vegan recipes. Mushroomsroot vegetables, andlegumes are all brilliant in this department. Eggplant is extra special, because it contributes meatiness without weighing a dish down the way an overload of beans or lentils sometimes can. It’s versatile, nutritious, and it absorbs flavors easily, so it’s a perfect choice for spicy, bold dishes. 

Another satisfying vegan eggplant dish: Baba Ganoush.

This pasta showcases all of eggplant’s most magical properties. Roasting the eggplant brings out its natural sweetness and tenderness, while combining it with a savory tomato sauce gives it a chance to soak up garlic, oregano, and spicy red pepper flakes. The dish is hearty, satisfying, and easy to whip up -- even on a weeknight. 

Spicy Vegan Eggplant Pasta

If eggplant’s not for you, you can substitute roasted or sautéed mushrooms and mix them into the sauce in step 3. Lentils would also be a nice addition, as would roasted zucchini in the summer. Like many pasta dishes, this one welcomes a little creative interpretation. 

Spicy Eggplant Pasta

Serves 4 to 6 

2 medium eggplants
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups chopped plum tomatoes or one 14-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, or 1 1/2 teaspoons dry oregano
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes, plus extra for finishing
1/4 cup fresh, chopped basil, plus extra for finishing
1 pound linguine pasta 

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photos by James Ransom

This article originally appeared on Spicy Vegan Eggplant Pasta