A delicious recipe for smoky tomato and aubergine pasta with black olives. A great vegetarian dinner recipe that the whole family will love.
Despite all the fruit and veg refusal we've had over the years, all three Sneaky Veg kids have always been huge olive fans.
Because of this I often add them to pasta sauce. When trying something new - like aubergine - the sight of a favourite ingredient can help convince them to try it.
Delicious with pasta
We had this aubergine sauce with pasta and it was really tasty.
The kids loved the smoky taste. I wasn't sure if they'd go for the smoked paprika but I needn't have worried as they loved it.
When cooking this for my children I didn't add any additional salt. Olives are fairly high in salt. However, feel free to add salt to taste if desired.
Is this aubergine pasta recipe suitable for babies and toddlers?
This is a great pasta recipe to serve to babies and toddlers. I would recommend leaving out the olives however as they are very salty and can be a choking hazard.
The sauce can be blended to make it really smooth for babies or left as it is for older babies and toddlers.
Using larger pasta shapes will make it easier for little hands to pick them up if you're doing baby led weaning.
And be sure to have a cloth to hand - tomato sauce + babies = a huge mess!
Do you need to salt aubergines before cooking?
Aubergines - known as eggplant in many other countries - have a bad reputation as a vegetable that can be somewhat tricky to cook.
The very first aubergine recipe I cooked was a vegetable moussaka recipe from a 1990s veggie cookbook belonging to my mum.
In this recipe you have to slice the aubergines into rounds, sprinkle them liberally with salt, leave for ages, then rinse them and pat them dry. The reason for this palaver is to stop the aubergines from soaking up all the oil as they cook.
If you've ever fried an aubergine you'll know what I mean. No sooner have you started frying them than the pan is dry. Those pesky aubergines have soaked up the lot!
The salting process prevents them from doing it but frankly I don't have the time to do that these days. I often just add a dash of water to the frying pan to stop them sticking to be honest.
How to roast aubergines
For some reason, when being roasted aubergines don't seem to soak up the oil at such a terrifying speed.
Aubergines brown very quickly once chopped so get everything ready first.
- Preheat the oven
- Get a large roasting tin ready
- Prepare any other ingredients first eg onions or garlic
- Take out your olive oil
- Slice your aubergine - see below
- Add to the oven dish with the other ingredients and drizzle with olive oil
- Once they're in the oven you don't need to do much to them, other than stir the aubergines every now and then to stop them from sticking to the pan.
How to cut aubergine
I prefer to roast my aubergine in cubes. Of course if you prefer slices go for it.
Try to cut them into similar sizes so that they cook evenly.
More vegetarian pasta sauce recipes
- Lentil and roasted cauliflower pasta sauce
- The ultimate Sneaky Veg sauce
- Simple tomato sauce for pasta
- Hidden veg pasta sauce
- Wild garlic pesto
- Kale pesto
- Vegan cauliflower alfredo sauce (on my vegan food blog cookveggielicious.com)
- Sundried tomato pasta sauce with walnuts and chipotle (on my vegan food blog cookveggielicious.com)
- Roasted carrot pasta sauce
- Sun-dried tomato pesto pasta
Or you might like this recipe for smoky baked beans with aubergine.
Pin smoky tomato and aubergine pasta for later
How to make smoky tomato and aubergine pasta sauce with black olives
This is a really easy aubergine pasta dish to make. Simply roast the vegetables, then stir through smoked paprika and tomatoes. I blend this sauce for my kids but it's just as delicious when left unblended.
If you have made this recipe I would love it if you’d leave a comment and rating below. Thank you!
Smoky tomato and aubergine pasta sauce with black olives
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 clove of garlic chopped
- 2 aubergines diced
- 800 g chopped tomatoes 2 tins
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 150 g pitted black olives
- 300 g pasta we like penne
- pinch salt optional
- rocket optional
- salt and pepper
- grated cheese dairy free if vegan
- Pre-heat the oven to 180°C fan/200°C/gas mark 6.
- Put the prepared onion, garlic and aubergine into a large oven proof dish, drizzle with olive oil and stir well. Roast for around 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the aubergine is soft.
- Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions.
- Towards the end of the cooking add the chopped tomatoes and smoked paprika and mix well. If using salt, add to taste.
- If preferred you can blend the sauce until smooth and stir in the black olives. Alternatively serve it as it is.
- Mix the pasta with the sauce.
- Serve with rocket leaves, salt and pepper and grated cheese.
- Nutritional information is approximate and is intended as a guide only.
- Nutritional information does not include the serving suggestions.
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NB: this recipe and photographs were updated in March 2019