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Spicy Eggplant and Pasta with Pancetta

Rated as 4.8 out of 5 Stars

"Eggplant has its fans and its detractors. Even the most devoutly anti-eggplant zealot can't resist this savory combination of spicy eggplant, pancetta, and pasta."
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40 m servings 537
Original recipe yields 6 servings


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  1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add pancetta; cook until browned on the edges, about 5 minutes. Add eggplant and remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil; cook until eggplant is slightly softened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Pour marinara sauce, tomatoes, and wine into the skillet. Add red pepper flakes, black pepper, garlic salt, sugar, and white pepper. Stir and cover. Let sauce simmer until flavors combine, about 20 minutes.
  3. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add penne and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender yet firm to the bite, about 11 minutes. Drain; mix with the sauce.


  • Cook's Note:
  • The sugar may or may not be necessary depending on how sweet your marinara sauce is.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 537 calories; 15.9 81 16.7 12 1038 Full nutrition

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Read all reviews 15
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My daughter lives in Rome and I spend a month there every year. So, I’ve eaten some of the world’s best pasta. I’d put this one at the top of the list. I was reluctant to use “store bought” sauc...

So good! I added minced garlic and shallots before cooking the eggplant and the juice of half a lemon as the sauce was simmering. Really delicious

i added diced up chicken and shrimp into it. This dish was a big hit with everyone.

Delicious! I added garlic and chopped onion, fresh chopped basil and oregano. I also substituted a can of roasted, diced tomatoes (I like a lot of sauce), topped with Parmesan cheese! I will def...

This eggplant sauce was to die for! It one of the best sauce I have ever made. Thanks for sharing

Superb! Hearty and delicious. Perfect heat level. Substituted thick-cut bacon (less salty than standard bacon) for pancetta. Added fresh basil.

Very yummy even though I’m not a fan of eggplant. My grocery store didn’t have pancetta so I substituted bacon and it was fine. I think this would be a great dish with zucchini too. It was a l...

This was easy to make, and you can do a lot with it! I did cut back on the red pepper flakes, and it was still on the spicy side for us. This is definitely a keeper!

Forgot to mention that I added some sauteed red bell peppers, mushrooms and at the end, a little baby spinach. All things I had in the fridge that needed to be used up. I also used low sodium...