Skip to Content

Sicilian Pasta

Did you know that Sicilian pasta is loved by pasta enthusiasts worldwide for its irresistible combination of flavors? From the first bite, you’ll be transported to the sun-soaked island of Sicily, where the cuisine is as vibrant and diverse as its cultural heritage. Whether you’re a fan of hearty eggplant or crave the richness of mozzarella and Parmesan cheese, this flavorful pasta dish is sure to leave you wanting more.

Creating a delightful blend of Mediterranean ingredients, Sicilian pasta is a culinary masterpiece that will tantalize your taste buds with every forkful. This recipe is not only incredibly delicious, but also quick and easy to make, making it the perfect choice for busy weeknight dinners. With fresh eggplant, tomatoes, garlic, and an array of aromatic herbs, this pasta dish is a true celebration of Sicily’s vibrant flavors.

Whether you’re a fan of vegetarian delights or prefer to pair your pasta with succulent proteins or vegetables, Sicilian pasta offers endless versatility. It can be enjoyed as a standalone main course or paired with your favorite accompaniments, providing a hearty and satisfying meal every time.

Ingredient List & Possible Substitutions

When it comes to creating the perfect Sicilian pasta, there are a few essential ingredients that you’ll want to keep on hand. These ingredients not only provide the base flavors of the dish but also play a crucial role in delivering that authentic Sicilian taste. Here are the key ingredients you’ll need for Sicilian pasta:

  1. Medium-sized eggplants: These meaty and tender vegetables are the star of the dish, providing a satisfying texture. Look for eggplants that are firm and glossy. If you struggle to find fresh eggplants, you can opt for frozen or canned versions as a substitute.
  2. Olive oil: A staple in Mediterranean cuisine, olive oil is used for cooking the eggplant and adds a delightful richness to the sauce. Look for extra virgin olive oil for the best flavor.
  3. Garlic: This aromatic ingredient brings depth and flavor to the dish. Fresh garlic cloves work best, but you can also use minced or powdered garlic as a substitute.
  4. Tomatoes: Canned Pelati tomatoes or other canned peeled whole tomatoes are commonly used as the base for the sauce. They provide a balance of acidity and sweetness to the dish. If you don’t have canned tomatoes on hand, fresh tomatoes or tomato puree can be used as alternatives.
  5. Oregano and basil: These classic Mediterranean herbs add a fragrant and earthy taste to the pasta. Fresh herbs are ideal, but dried herbs can be used if necessary.
  6. Hot pepper flakes (optional): If you enjoy a hint of heat, sprinkle in some hot pepper flakes to add a subtle fiery kick to the dish. Adjust the amount according to your desired level of spiciness.
  7. Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese: These cheeses provide a creamy and cheesy element to the pasta. Opt for high-quality, fresh cheeses for the best flavor. If you’re looking for a vegan alternative, there are several plant-based cheese options available.
  8. Short pasta: Sicilian pasta traditionally uses short pasta shapes like penne, rotini, or rigatoni. However, feel free to experiment with your preferred pasta shape. Fusilli, farfalle, or shells can be great substitutes and add a unique twist to the dish.

These ingredients combine together to create a harmonious blend of flavors that will transport you to the sun-soaked shores of Sicily with every bite. Whether you’re using the authentic ingredients or making substitutions, Sicilian pasta is a versatile dish that can be tailored to suit a variety of tastes and dietary preferences.

How To Make Sicilian Pasta

Here is a step-by-step guide for cooking Sicilian pasta, so you can enjoy this flavorful dish in the comfort of your own home.

  1. Prepare the eggplant: Start by peeling and cutting the eggplant into cubes. Toss them with salt and let them sit for about 20 minutes to reduce bitterness. Drain the excess liquid before cooking.
  2. Cook the pasta: In a large pot, bring water to a boil and cook the pasta until al dente. Remember to reserve some pasta water for later use.
  3. Cook the eggplant: Heat olive oil in a pan and add the eggplant cubes. Cook them until they turn golden and tender. Once cooked, remove them from the pan and set them aside.
  4. Make the sauce: In the same pan, add more olive oil, garlic, and tomatoes. Cook for a few minutes until the tomatoes break down and become fragrant. Add your seasonings, the cooked eggplant, and some pasta water. Let it all simmer for a few more minutes.
  5. Combine pasta and sauce: Add the cooked pasta to the pan along with some starchy pasta water. Stir in the mozzarella cheese and half of the Parmesan cheese until they melt and combine well with the sauce.
  6. Bake the pasta: Transfer the pasta mixture into a baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan cheese on top. Bake in the oven at 350°F for 10-15 minutes or until the pasta is bubbly and golden.
  7. Serve and enjoy: Allow the baked Sicilian pasta to rest for a few minutes before serving. Garnish it with fresh parsley or basil for an extra burst of flavor.

Follow these steps, and you’ll have a delicious Sicilian pasta ready to delight your taste buds.

Now, let’s move on to some serving suggestions for this mouthwatering dish.

Serving Suggestions

When it comes to serving Sicilian pasta, there are plenty of delicious options to complement this flavorful dish. Here are some ideas that will elevate your dining experience:

1. Enjoy it as a main dish: Sicilian pasta is incredibly satisfying on its own. Serve a generous portion of pasta on a plate and let its rich flavors take center stage. If you want to add some freshness to your meal, consider pairing it with a side salad tossed in a light vinaigrette. Alternatively, accompany the pasta with some crusty bread to mop up every last bit of the savory sauce.

2. Add grilled or roasted vegetables: For a well-rounded and colorful meal, pair Sicilian pasta with grilled or roasted vegetables. The smoky flavors and tender texture of the vegetables will complement the pasta beautifully. Try grilling zucchini, eggplant, bell peppers, and cherry tomatoes, then toss them together with the pasta for a vibrant and satisfying dish.

3. Incorporate protein: If you’re looking to add some protein to your meal, there are several options that pair wonderfully with Sicilian pasta. Grilled chicken, shrimp, or Italian sausage are great choices that will enhance the flavors of the dish. Choose your favorite protein, cook it to perfection, and serve it alongside the pasta for a hearty and satisfying meal.

4. Enhance with extra toppings: To take your Sicilian pasta to the next level, sprinkle some extra Parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes, or fresh herbs on top. The Parmesan cheese will add a salty and nutty flavor, while the red pepper flakes will provide a hint of spice. Fresh herbs like basil or parsley will bring a vibrant and aromatic touch to the dish. Experiment with these toppings to create your own signature flavor.

5. Pair with Sicilian Nero d’Avola: To complete your Sicilian dining experience, consider serving Sicilian pasta with a glass of red wine, such as a Sicilian Nero d’Avola. This full-bodied and fruity wine pairs beautifully with the rich flavors of the dish, creating a harmonious and indulgent combination.

FAQ

What is Sicilian pasta?

Sicilian pasta is a flavorful dish that combines ingredients like eggplant, tomatoes, and garlic to create a delightful and indulgent pasta experience.

Is Sicilian pasta easy to make?

Yes, Sicilian pasta is quick and easy to make, making it perfect for busy weeknight dinners.

Can I customize the ingredients in Sicilian pasta?

Absolutely! While the recipe calls for specific ingredients like eggplant, tomatoes, and garlic, you can always add your favorite proteins or vegetables to make it your own.

What type of pasta should I use?

The recipe suggests using short pasta like penne, rotini, or rigatoni, but you can substitute it with your preferred pasta shape.

Can I make Sicilian pasta vegetarian?

Yes, Sicilian pasta can easily be made vegetarian by skipping the addition of any meat or meat-based ingredients.

How can I add some heat to the dish?

If you enjoy spicy flavors, you can add hot pepper flakes to give the Sicilian pasta a subtle heat.

Can I make Sicilian pasta ahead of time?

While it’s best to serve Sicilian pasta fresh, you can make ahead of time and reheat it gently before serving.

Website | + posts

Jenny has always been passionate about cooking, and she uses her platform to share her joy of food with others. Her recipes are easy to follow, and she loves giving tips and tricks to help others create their own unique culinary creations.