Healthy Recipes

Roast eggplant, tomato and basil spelt pasta

A generous sprinkling of pangrattato and whole leaves of basil add plenty of interest to this vegan pasta.

By Emma Knowles
  • 20 mins preparation
  • 15 mins cooking
  • Serves 4
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Pangrattato is also known as poor man's parmesan, but we don't think there's anything poor about it. The crunchy crumbs, here spiked with chilli, add flavour and texture galore. This is as good served at room temperature as it is warm – perfect for balmy weather.


  • 2 eggplant, cut into 2cm dice
  • 100 ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • Finely grated rind of 1 lemon, juice of 2
  • 400 gm spelt rigatoni
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, diced
  • ¼ Spanish onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup torn basil, plus extra leaves to serve
Chilli crumbs
  • 70 ml olive oil
  • 50 gm coarse breadcrumbs, from a stale sourdough loaf
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp dried chilli flakes
  • Finely grated rind of ½ lemon


  • 1
    Preheat oven to 200°C. Combine eggplant, 2 tbsp olive oil, lemon rind and half the juice in a baking tray, season, toss to coat and roast until eggplant is browned and tender (10-15 minutes).
  • 2
    For chilli crumbs, combine ingredients on a separate oven tray, season and bake, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and crisp (6-7 minutes).
  • 3
    Cook pasta in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until al dente (10-12 minutes), then drain, reserving 2 tbsp pasta water, and return pasta and water to pan. Add eggplant, tomato, onion, basil, remaining olive oil and remaining lemon juice, season generously and toss to combine. Divide among bowls and serve scattered with chilli crumbs.


Drink Suggestion: Full-bodied red made from nero d'Avola. Drink suggestion by Max Allen.