A super easy pasta dish to prepare on a busy day, Quick Eggplant and Mushroom Pappardelle from my husband Robert is a crowd-pleaser!

White plate with a large portion of Quick Eggplant and Mushroom Pappardelle

Eggplant Mushroom Pasta

My fabulous, smart, handsome and supportive husband Robert also loves to cook. (Yes, he is pretty perfect!) Robert’s maternal grandparents came from Italy and he grew up enjoying big traditional Italian Sunday dinners at his Uncle Billy’s house. When he’s in the kitchen, Robert channels his Italian roots, crafting great pasta dishes – always without a recipe, and always with amazing results. This Eggplant and Mushroom Pappardelle is one of his more recent creations.  A bit sweet, a bit spicy, a bit earthy -it has a mouth-watering combination of flavors!

In typical fashion, one evening Robert opened our refrigerator and pantry and started pulling out ingredients that looked interesting to him: eggplant, green peppers, onion, mushrooms, garlic, buffalo mozzarella cheese – and of course, pasta! After around 10 minutes of chopping, the kitchen quickly began to smell fabulous as Robert started sautéing the ingredients. Then, about 30 minutes later, his scrumptious vegetarian pappardelle was ready to serve! Full of flavor with just the right amount of spice, this dish has become a regular in our home.

What is Pappardelle?

Pappardelle is a type of egg pasta noodles that originated the Tuscany region of Italy. Pappardelle are, flat, long and ribbon-shaped that are very wide – around 3/4 to 1 inch (2 to 3 cm) wide.

Why is Pappardelle best in this recipe? Can other pastas be substituted?

Robert thought pappardelle was an excellent pairing with his “meaty” eggplant and mushroom sauce due to its wider noodles, which are perfectly suited to support the hunks of vegetables in his sauce. You can definitely substitute other pastas. I would recommend still staying with pastas that are on the heftier side, like tagliatelle or rigatoni.

Which mushroom variety is best for this Eggplant Mushroom Recipe?

Any type of mushroom will work in this dish, including a mixture of different kinds. My favorite is cremini, or baby Bella. Their flavor is stronger and a bit earthier, which pairs well with the eggplant.

Which Eggplant variety is best for this Eggplant Mushroom Pasta?

The most widely available (and least expensive) type of eggplant in the U.S. is the Globe, or American, variety and they work perfectly in this recipe. With an oval (teardrop) shape and a deep purple color, they range from around 6 to 10 inches long. Their meatier texture adds a bit of heft to this vegetarian entrée.

close up view of finished Eggplant and Mushroom Pappardelle

How to select an Eggplant

Here’s what to look for when picking out an eggplant:

  • No brown spots or other discolorations. These marks are likely to mean brown or damaged flesh inside the eggplant, which can be bitter.
  • Smooth, shiny skin and a green stem. The outside of the eggplant should not be wrinkled or dull; if it is, it’s old and/or hasn’t been stored properly. And the stem should be green and not dried out.
  • Fairly firm texture. Both the flesh and the stem shouldn’t be mushy. When you press on the side, it should spring back.

How to make Eggplant Mushroom Pappardelle

Time needed: 30 minutes.

This eggplant and mushroom pasta is super quick and easy to prepare. Here’s all you have to do:

  1. Prep the vegetables and cheese.

    Cut the eggplant into 1/2-inch cubes. Slice the mushrooms. Peel and chop the onion; seed and chop the bell peppers (if using); finely chop the garlic. Lastly, chop the mozzarella cheese into 1/2-inch cubes.close up of knife and hand chopping mushrooms

  2. Sauté the vegetables.

    Cook the eggplant together with the red pepper flakes in hot olive oil over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Stir in the mushrooms, peppers (if using), onion and garlic. Keep cooking, stirring occasionally, until all the vegetables are very soft, around 20 minutes. Turn down the heat if they are starting to brown too much before they get soft.Overhead view of eggplant cooking

  3. Cook the pasta.

    While the vegetables are cooking, cook the pasta per the package directions. My tips on Cooking Perfect Pasta will tell you how much salt to add and other keys to ensuring your pasta comes out perfect! Drain and set aside.overhead shot of pasta cooking

  4. Finish the sauce.

    Drain any excess oil off the vegetables. Add the mozzarella cheese and gently toss.overhead view of cooked eggplant and mushrooms

  5. Plate and serve.

    Place pasta in shallow serving dish or individual bowls – I like to use tongs and swirl the noodles around into a nice shape. Spoon the eggplant sauce over the top. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and parsley; serve immediately.close up shot of finished eggplant and mushroom pasta

Can Eggplant and Mushroom Pappardelle be made ahead?

Yes you can make this dish ahead. Slightly undercook the pasta (by around 1 minute). Drain and toss with a small amount of olive oil – just enough to coat the noodles. (The oil keeps them from sticking together.) Cool the noodles, place in a zip top baggie and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature before reheating.

For storing the sauce: cool, place in a sealed container and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature before reheating.

To reheat: put the sauce in a medium saucepan and warm over medium-low heat, stirring often. Bring a large pot of water to a roiling boil; add around a tablespoon of salt. Carefully place the cooked pasta in the water and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute. This process will warm the pasta and wash off the oil. Drain and serve as directed in the recipe (and above).

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Quick Pappardelle, Eggplant, Mushroom Recipe

  • Author: By Lee’s husband Robert Roper
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: main dish, vegetarian, pasta, quick and easy
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian

Description

A super easy pasta dish to prepare on a busy day, Quick Eggplant and Mushroom Pappardelle from my husband Robert is a crowd-pleaser! A bit sweet, a bit spicy, a bit earthy – it has a mouth-watering combination of flavors.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 medium eggplants, cubed
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more to taste
  • 1 1/2 medium green (or red) bell peppers, seeded and chopped (optional)
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 12 ounces sliced mushrooms (cremini, shiitake or a mix all work)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 pound pappardelle pasta, or other wide noodles
  • 12 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, drained (if in water) and coarsely chopped
  • shredded or shaved Parmesan cheese, for garnish
  • chopped fresh Italian (flat leaf) parsley, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the eggplant and red pepper flakes and cook for 10 minutes.
  2. Stir in green pepper (if using), onion, garlic and mushrooms and cook vegetables are very soft, around 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. While the vegetables are cooking, cook the pasta per package directions (see my tips on Cooking Perfect Pasta). Drain and set aside.
  4. Drain any excess oil off the vegetables. Add the mozzarella cheese and gently toss.
  5. Place pasta in shallow serving dish (or individual bowls), top with eggplant mixture. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and parsley and serve immediately.

Lee Clayton Roper

Welcome!

I’m Lee Clayton Roper, and I’m passionate about making cooking and entertaining easy, elegant and fun. Here you’ll find scrumptious recipes, helpful tips and seasonal menus that will spark inspiration in your kitchen!
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10 Responses to “Quick Eggplant and Mushroom Pappardelle”

  1. Cousin Barbara ( the oldest one left)

    Robert you are amazing! I remember uncle Billy cooking up a storm on Sundays! Keep it up cuz! Love ya and miss ya!

    Reply
    • MaineMal

      This is simple, innovative, and very tasty as a simple weekday meal for non-meat eaters. I made it exactly as offered, with two small exceptions: 1) instead of adding the mushrooms with the veg, I sautéed them over relatively high heat in 1/1 butter and olive oil, then took them off and added salt and parsley; added them closer to the end. Then, as the veg/eggplant mixture cooked, I added 1 t. pomegranate molasses, and 1 T red wine vinegar. As with most pasta recipes, I added 1/2 c. of pasta cooking water to the eggplant mixture when I drained the pasta. Really excellent!

      Reply
      • Lee Roper

        Your modifications sound delicious – I’ll have to try it this way. Thanks for sharing!

        Reply
  2. Jean Strickland

    I made this and combined with Side Kicks Butter and Herb noodles and was delicious.

    Reply
    • Lee Roper

      So glad to hear you liked it! I’ll have to try it with those noodles. Sounds yummy.

      Reply
  3. Janet

    Made with ziti noodles as what was available. This was so good and I’m not usually fond of eggplant Sautee dishes. I added 1/2 teaspoon of cumin, cinnamon, and coriander.

    Reply
    • Lee Roper

      Glad you liked our recipe! Your spice additions sound interesting; I’m definitely going to try those next time I make this dish!

      Reply

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