Sausage & Eggplant Linguine is a wonderfully different take on a chunky tomato sauce, mixed with vegetables, crumbled sausage, capers, and topped generously with cold ricotta cheese.
Hello! I'm so excited to share this recipe with you all because it has been one that I've been making for several years now. It was my absolute favorite recipe out of my Clean Eating Cookbook that I came across when I was on vacation in Rehoboth Beach in Delaware in 2013.
I was desperately in need of learning how to cook with more vegetables, more whole ingredients, and less processed ingredients. I highly recommend the cookbook if you're in need of the same lessons. This recipe was so approachable to me because it already had comfort food that I was familiar with: sausage and pasta. The twist, however, is a sauce made from a quick saute of eggplant, capers, parsley, onion, tomatoes, and vinegar. It also gets a nice contrast with a big cold scoop of ricotta cheese on top - that makes everything a bit creamy and goes perfect with this tart sauce.
Its different from your typical Italian pasta dinner because the sauce is pungent and tastes almost like it should be served with fish. (Mental note to try serving this sauce over some halibut). If I had to guess, I would say it originates from a Puttanesca sauce which is a tomato sauce made from capers, garlic, olives, and ANCHOVIES! Don't worry...no anchovies in this one.
A big lesson to learn in this recipe as well is proportions. Its not like your typical pasta dish: huge serving of pasta with minimal vegetables. It kind of flips that notion: big serving of vegetables with 1 (actual) serving of linguine. This makes for one extremely satisfying dinner. Now, I think you can see why I include this every so often.
Sausage & Eggplant Linguine
Total Time 30 minutes
- 1 1 lb Eggplant 1" cubes
- Drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 8 oz Linguine
- ⅓ cup reserved pasta water after draining
- 1 lb Sausage links casings removed
- 1 Whole shallot minced
- 3 Garlic cloves minced
- 1 cup diced tomatoes from can
- 1 tbsp Capers drained
- 2 tbsp Fresh parsley minced
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- ½ cup Skim ricotta
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add in eggplant and drizzle of olive oil. Saute for 2 minutes and add in sausage. Break sausage apart with a wooden spoon and cook until browned.
Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a boil with a pinch of salt, drizzle of olive oil, and cook linguine until tender. Drain, but reserve ⅓ a cup of the water.
Add shallot and garlic to skillet and saute until they begin to brown, about 4 minutes. Add in diced tomatoes, capers, 1 tbsp of the parsley, and season with salt & pepper to taste. Stir everything together until well combined. Bring to a boil on medium-high heat, then lower to a simmer.
To finish, add pasta water to skillet slowly while stirring. Add in just enough to loosen the sauce. Add the linguine into the skillet, tossing to cover the pasta completely. Distribute between plates, top with parsley, and ricotta.