Have you ever heard the story about the princess and the eggplant?


Well then today is your lucky day.

Once upon a time in a land far, far away there was a princess whose father’s kingdom was built on oil. Now this was before the time of the industrial revolution and such, and so by “oil” I don’t mean high-octane diesel fuel. No, back then they were concerned only with the good stuff – olive oil.

The princess was getting to be in her late teens and so her father decided it was time to marry her off. He found an eligible bachelor living in a neighboring kingdom, offered up a dowry of a few hundreds of gallons of olive oil, and sent his daughter off to start her new life.

On her first night with her new husband, the princess was a little nervous, and so like most of us foodies do under such strenuous circumstances, she turned to the kitchen. Seeing as how eggplant was a staple of the region, and the princess was hellbent on cooking only with organic and locally grown produce, she decided to wow her husband with one of the many eggplant dishes in her repertoire.

That night, the princess was filled with nervous anticipation as her husband took his first bite. She needn’t have feared however, because he loved it. Hands down, absolutely loved it. He loved it so much in fact that he ate all of it, leaving no leftovers at all whatsoever and barely even saving any for the princess herself to have. When he finally came up for a breath of fresh air (i.e. when all of the dishes had been licked clean), he demanded that she make the dish again the next night.

The princess looked at him in fear. “I can’t,” she said.

“What do you mean you can’t?” the husband asked suspiciously, one eyebrow arched and ready for attack.

“There’s no more oil left. I used all of the hundreds of gallons of it. It just absorbs so much…”

And then the prince got so angry that he ordered her to be guillotined on the spot. Either that or he was a nice, forgiving husband and sent her off to bed with a kiss on the cheek. But I can’t remember which.

The point is that eggplant DOES absorb a lot of olive oil so be careful. It’s a very sneaky vegetable.

Linguine with Roasted Eggplant and Cherry Tomatoes
Serves 4, adapted from Tyler Florence

1 lb whole wheat linguine
1 tsp olive oil
1 onion
5 cloves garlic
2 (28 oz) cans of whole, peeled tomatoes
1/4 cup basil, torn
1 1/2 lb eggplant
3 cloves garlic
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup parmesan cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 425. Cut the eggplants into large dice and place in a bowl. Mix together with the garlic and spray with cooking spray. Arrange on a baking sheet and roast 20 minutes or until eggplant is tender.

2. Set up the water for the pasta and cook per the package instructions.

3. Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion (chopped) and garlic (minced) and cook until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, crushing them with your hand to break them up. Add the basil and season with salt and pepper. Cook until the sauce is reduced and thickened, about 10 minutes.

4. Put the tomato sauce in a bowl and mix in the drained linguine, eggplant, cherry tomatoes, and parmesan cheese. Serve with extra cheese.

This dinner was very simple and was one of those comforting meals that feels so welcoming after a long day of school and/or work. It is also really good topped with feta cheese. Especially if you’re like me and just happen to have some lying around.

I am submitting this to Tyler Florence Fridays as well as Presto Pasta Nights which is being hosted by Ruth of Once Upon A Feast.

You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at https://joanne-eatswellwithothers.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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28 Responses to Linguine with Roasted Eggplant and Cherry Tomatoes

  1. Palidor says:

    Hahaha, that’s such a cute and funny story with a very important message! Eggplant is worse than a sponge when it comes to absorbing oil. Your method of using cooking spray is a great one! Much better coverage than trying to sprinkle olive oil from the bottle.

  2. Jen says:

    I want a HUGE plate of that!! Why does it suck up all that oil?

  3. Mari says:

    OMG HAHA that has to be one of the best anecdotes I have read in a long time! and it is so TRUE! I usually order Sauteed Eggplant in Marinara sauce from the Italian restaurant near my job and I always have to ask them to be light with the oil…

    that dish looks amazing…

  4. hahahaha… it’s so true, and so funny! i read the longer it’s salted and pressed, the less it soaks up, so when you dice and pan saute’ it, it will suck up more. perhaps i’ll have to experiment!

  5. Shannon says:

    interesting story 🙂 oil-sucker or not, gotta love it 🙂

  6. Ha! I vaguely remember that story.
    I love this dish, fantastic! I am an indulgent mom/cook and let the eggplant have all that it wants. 🙂

  7. Amy says:

    Cute story 😉 – yes, I recently discovered this oil issue with eggplant. I ended up adding a lot more than the recipe called for.

    I ended up not needing to salt them and let them sit, by the way, but I’m convinced that was because of the caramelization process made it sweet AND that the eggplant I used didn’t have a lot of seeds.

  8. Pam says:

    I have this on my list since my CSA keeps insisting on growing more eggplants!

  9. What a cute story!! And so true. I remember caramelizing eggplant and it took forever because I added way too much oil. Yet another delicious eggplant dish – simple and comforting.

  10. Kim says:

    Love the story and your pics! You are selling me on eggplant! I think I’m going to buy some next time I run out to Fresh Market. I’ve never cooked with it, but I think I’ll try an eggplant parmesan soon. This pasta looks terrific and was a great choice for TFF and presto pasta nights. I bet this pasta will be gobbled up in no time. It does look really good.

  11. Debinhawaii says:

    It does soak up a lot of oil–but it is so good! I have this one marked to try at some point–it looks wonderful.

  12. girlichef says:

    Love it!! And this is definitely a beautiful comfort dish 😀

  13. You funny girl! I loved this fairly tale! ;0)

    This is making me want to give eggplant another try!

  14. Elra says:

    Simple, yet pack with flavor!

  15. I am just about to do my food shopping and guess what I am buying an eggplant and more olive oil.

    Thanks for the entertaining story and for the great recipe. This is why I belong to TFF and visit your blog.

  16. nora@ffr says:

    love the yummy flavors used here! vud love t have it with more and more cheese! 🙂

  17. Great story and fatastic dish! i am an eggplant loving fool!

  18. Ruth Daniels says:

    Fantastic story…I’ll be smiling all day. Thanks for sharing that and my favorite dish with Presto Pasta Nights.

  19. Kristin says:

    Love the story, have had the same problem with eggplant.
    Hope your bitten butt is calmed down, those darn mosquitios! Reason #57 why I don’t run!!

  20. tigerfish says:

    Sounds yummy and appetizing!

  21. Kerstin says:

    Haha, love the story, because it’s so true! This looks like a super flavorful dish – I LOVE eggplant in pasta!

  22. Kevin says:

    Roasted eggplant and tomato pasta sounds really good!

  23. Johanna says:

    great story – and lovely pasta dish – my partner is not keen on eggplant but when I see this dish I think I must have some

  24. melissa says:

    this looks great. i want to try it this weekend!

  25. Great story and great pasta dish.

  26. Justin says:

    i really like this idea of roasting the eggplants first — my kind of recipe

  27. […] Four years ago…Creamy Dreamy Raisin Scones, Linguine with Roasted Eggplant and Cherry Tomatoes  […]

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