We eat pasta alot, and while I love the staples Spaghetti and Bolognese, I make a lot of variations.  I’m always trying to eat more vegetables and adding a few new ones to the standard red sauce just makes for well, something new.  Eggplant and fennel are not veggies I eat regularly so its nice to find a way to add them in.  It made for a very chunky sauce with the hearty rigatoni – and I used Italian Sausage, but it could be made vegetarian.  Great with a simple salad and some crusty bread!

Eggplant Fennel Rigatoni

Pre-roasting the eggplant and fennel really brings out their flavors before adding them to the sauce.

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Recipe: Eggplant Fennel Rigatoni


  • 1 fennel bulb, quartered, core removed, and sliced thin
  • 1 eggplant, cut into large cubes, about 1 inch
  • olive oil, salt and pepper for roasting veggies
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced small
  • 1 lb ground Italian Sausage (cut up links would work too, or leave it out to make a vegetarian sauce)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 28oz cans whole (break up) or diced tomatoes
  • 1 t basil or any dried Italian herbs
  • 1 T brown sugar
  • 1 lb rigatoni or any short hearty pasta
  • Parmesan cheese for serving


  1. Preheat oven to 425. Roast eggplant and fennel with olive oil, salt and pepper on a large sheet pan for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat a large pot on the stovetop over medium heat. Add olive oil and saute onion about 5 to 10 minutes until softened and starting to brown.
  3. Add sausage and break up with a wooden spoon, until fully cooked and browned.  Add garlic and cook 1 minute more.
  4. Add tomatoes, basil, sugar, and eggplant/fennel when done. Simmer the sauce on low for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  5. When ready, cook pasta using package instructions, top with the sauce and grated Parmesan cheese. Leftover sauce can be frozen.

Preparation time: 30 minute(s)

Cooking time: 1 hour(s) 15 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 8

Microformatting by hRecipe.

Eggplant Fennel Rigatoni
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