Penne with Eggplant, White Beans and Tomato Sauce Recipe | Vegetarian Times Skip to main content

Penne with Eggplant, White Beans and Tomato Sauce

A pasta sauce of eggplant, tomatoes and fresh basil is an enduring classic. Add a can of cannellini beans and it gets even better. Cheese lovers might enjoy this dish with crumbled feta cheese.



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½ cup chopped fresh basil
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¼ tsp. salt
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¼ tsp. freshly ground pepper
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12 oz. dried penne pasta
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⅓ cup pine nuts (1 ¾ oz.), toasted
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15- to 19-oz. can cannellini (white kidney) beans, rinsed and drained, or 1 ½ to 1 ¾ cups cooked cannellini beans
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28-oz. can whole plum (Italian-style) tomatoes, drained
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2 Tbs. olive oil
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4 medium cloves garlic, thinly sliced
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⅛ tsp. red pepper flakes
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¾ lb. eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes (4 cups)


  1. Bring large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.
  2. Meanwhile, pass tomatoes through a food mill into medium bowl (or mash with a potato masher).
  3. In large saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon oil over low heat. Add garlic and pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until garlic is softened but not browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Add mashed tomatoes, increase heat to high and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer while you brown eggplant.
  4. In large nonstick skillet, heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Add eggplant and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and browned, 4 to 6 minutes. Stir in tomato mixture and reduce heat to low. Cover loosely with foil and simmer until eggplant is very tender, about 8 minutes. Add beans and simmer until heated through, about 5 minutes. Stir in basil, salt and pepper.
  5. Shortly before sauce is ready, add penne to boiling water; stir to prevent sticking. Cook, stirring often, until just tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain well, reserving 1/2 cup cooking water. Place penne in large warm serving bowl. Add eggplant mixture and enough reserved cooking water to moisten and toss to coat. Serve immediately, sprinkled with pine nuts.

Nutrition Information: 

16 g
Total Fat: 
10 g
Saturated Fat: 
1 g
65 g
311 mg
8 g
6 Servings