This one pot sausage and eggplant pasta is the perfect summer recipe. It’s loaded with fresh veggies and just enough sweet Italian sausage to give it tons of flavor. The best part? You can make this dish in less than 30 minutes and cleanup is a breeze.
The easiest pasta you’ll ever make!
I’m not gonna lie—I love summer.
The smell of sunscreen, the joy of a fresh pedicure or running through a sprinkler, and the even sound of the ice cream truck playing music as it drives through the neighborhood.
But most importantly, I love summer produce.
The tomatoes are sweeter, the corn is juicier, and the zucchini is just more zucchini-y (that’s a word, right?). Plus, I swear food just tastes better when it’s eaten outside.
This easy pasta recipe takes advantage of some of that farm-fresh produce and transforms it into a delicious dinner that you’ll look forward to all year long.
I made it last weekend when I was feeling like I needed something satisfying, but didn’t have much energy to put into making dinner. And let me tell you: It was perfect!
What you’ll love about this easy pasta recipe:
- Just 6 Ingredients: You have to love a recipe that’s simple but packs in the flavor
- Easy Clean Up: Everything cooks in one pot, so there are fewer dishes to wash. You don’t even need to pull out a colander!
- Hidden Veggies: The eggplant and zucchini practically disappear into this rich, velvety sauce.
Sausage and Eggplant Pasta Ingredients
Sweet Italian Sausage: You can use traditional pork sausage in this recipe or swap it out for chicken sausage. Whichever you pick, go for bulk sausage that isn’t in a casing. You want crumbles that distribute throughout the pasta, almost like a meat sauce.
Zucchini and Eggplant: I use one of each in this recipe. You can also add yellow sumemr squash if you want! This is a great recipe for using up squash!
Bowtie Pasta: You could use penne, but I love bowties here. They’re just so fun and they have a great texture.
Baby Spinach: We’re really packing the vegetables in with this one!
Fresh Garlic: Duh
Red Pepper Flakes: I love a pop of spice, but you can’t omit them if you don’t.
Parmesan Cheese: It adds so much flavor!
How to make one pot pasta with eggplant and zucchini
Start by browning two sausage links in a wide, shallow pot – I use a 3 3/4 quart braiser, which has lots of surface area but high enough sides to contain the pasta.
Once the sausage is browned, you can add a little oil if the pot is dry. Then add lots of garlic and a big pinch of red pepper flakes.
Next, add the eggplant and zucchini and cook it for a few minutes, until it starts to take on some color.
Then add the pasta and water and bring everything to a boil. The eggplant will cook down into a thick puree that gives the sauce a ton of body.
After 10 or 11 minutes, the pasta will be cooked to the perfect al dente. (You can cover the pot to speed things up a little, but keep a close eye on it since the pasta can go from dried to mush very quickly that way.)
Stir in some spinach and parmesan and give everything a good mix. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and enjoy!
More easy pasta recipes:
- One Pot Sausage and Broccoli Pasta
- Easy Bruschetta Pasta
- One Pot Lemon Ricotta Spaghetti
- Baked Feta Pasta
Sausage and Eggplant One Pot Pasta
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- ½ pound sweet Italian sausage crumbled (about 2 links)
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 generous pinch crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 small zucchini chopped
- 1 small eggplant peeled and chopped
- 8 ounces bowtie pasta
- 2 ½ cups water
- 4 cups baby spinach
- ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2-3 Tablespoons olive oil optional
- Heat 1 Tablespoon of oil in a large, shallow pan over medium high heat. When the oil is hot but not smoking, add the sausage. Cook, breaking the sausage up with a spoon, until the sausage is browned – about 5.
- Add the garlic and red pepper flakes to the pan and cook for 1-2 minutes, or until fragrant.
- Stir in the zucchini and eggplant. Cook 2-3 minutes, or until lightly browned.
- Add the pasta and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer 11-12 minutes, or until pasta is cooked al dente and most of the water is evaporated.
- Stir in the spinach and parmesan until the spinach is wilted. Season to taste with salt and pepper. If desired, drizzle with 2-3 Tablespoons of olive oil.