This vegetarian pappardelle pasta recipe is packed with vegetables, thanks to a thick and hearty tomato sauce with roasted eggplant and kale. Prepare the sauce on the stovetop as your roast cubes of eggplant in the oven. Serve this pasta topped with burrata cheese to add a rich and creamy flavor. Ready in 30 minutes, an easy weeknight win!

bowl of papardelle pasta with tomato eggplant sauce topped with burrata cheese and basil

If I had to choose one food to eat for the rest of my life, it very well might be pasta. As a Registered Dietitian, I love making and eating healthy pasta recipes by adding lots of vegetables and healthy homemade sauces.

This pappardelle pasta recipe is a perfect meal for when you’re craving a hearty, thick tomato sauce AND want to get in a few servings of veggies. Chunky roasted eggplant adds a depth of savory flavor to this vegetarian pasta sauce. Stir in some kale for more texture + tons of nutrients, and you’ve got yourself a super satisfying pasta with veggies!

More healthy vegetarian pasta recipes to try: quick & healthy green sauce pasta, cauliflower and kale pasta with lemon and garlic, and creamy rosé wine & tomato pasta.

The icing on the cake is of course the creamy burrata cheese. It makes this pasta dish feel more decadent and special, as the burrata cheese adds creaminess and richness to the sauce. This recipe will be ready in 30 minutes, and serves 3 to 4 people as a main dish.

Ingredients in eggplant & kale pappardelle with burrata

Here is everything you need to make this recipe:

Kitchen tools needed

To make this recipe, you will need a baking sheet, parchment paper, a large saute pan or stock pot, a chef’s knife, and a cutting board.

What is pappardelle pasta?

Pappardelle pasta is a long, flat, and wide pasta noodle shape. It it typically made as an egg pasta. The wide noodle shape holds up well to thick and chunky pasta sauces.

Pappardelle vs tagliatelle: These two pasta shapes are similar in that they are long, flat ribbon noodles. But, pappardelle noodles are wider than tagliatelle noodles.

Pappardelle substitute: If you can’t find pappardelle pasta, you can use tagliatelle or fettuccine as a good substitute.

Roasted eggplant pappardelle pasta ingredients measured out on a light grey backdrop

How to roast eggplant in the oven

The first step of this recipe is to roast the eggplant. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Wash and dry the eggplant. Cut off the stem and discard it.
  3. Slice the eggplant into 1/2 inch thick rounds.
  4. Cut each of the rounds into 1/2 inch cubes.
  5. Toss the eggplant with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  6. Put the eggplant cubes on the prepared baking sheet, and spread them out so they are not touching.
  7. Roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown and fork tender.
roasted eggplant cubes on a sheet pan

Step-by-step instructions

  1. Take burrata out of the fridge so it can come to room temperature as you cook.
  2. Roast eggplant cubes in the oven.
  3. While the eggplant is roasting, prepare the sauce on the stovetop – start by sauteing minced garlic and diced onion in a saute pan, seasoned with Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.
  4. Add canned crushed tomatoes and stir everything together. Continue to cook on low heat to let the flavors meld.
  5. Stir in chopped kale – it may look like a lot, but it will wilt and shrink down significantly as it cooks!
  6. Once the eggplant is done cooking, stir it into the sauce.
  7. Cook pappardelle pasta according to package instructions in salted water.
  8. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water and stir it into the pasta sauce.
  9. Drain pasta and toss it in the sauce right away to prevent the noodles from sticking.
  10. Serve the pasta topped with half a ball of burrata cheese.
  11. Garnish with plenty of fresh basil and freshly cracked black pepper.

Storing and reheating leftover pasta

This pasta keeps well in the fridge for up to three days. Store it in an airtight container without the burrata cheese. Reheat individual portions in the microwave for about 1 minute, or until warmed through. Then, add the burrata and basil to serve.

Eggplant nutrition & health benefits

Eggplant is a member of the nightshades vegetable family, which also includes tomatoes, peppers, and potatoes. Eggplant is a nutrient dense food, which means it provides a lot of nutrients in few calories. One cup of raw eggplant provides:

  • 2.5 grams of dietary fiber (9 percent of your daily needs)
  • 188 mg potassium (4 percent of your daily needs)
  • 0.230 mg pantothenic acid (5 percent of your daily needs)
  • 18.04 mcg folate (5 percent of your daily needs)
  • 0.07 mg copper (8 percent of your daily needs)
  • 0.190 mg manganese (8 percent of your daily needs)

Additionally, the purple skin of eggplants is rich in antioxidants called anthocyanins. Antioxidants help keep our cells healthy by fighting inflammation.

Does eggplant cause inflammation?

You may have heard that nightshade vegetables, including eggplant, cause inflammation or other health issues. But, the evidence that exists is mostly anecdotal, with little to no scientific evidence to show they contribute to inflammation.

In fact, due to their high antioxidant content, eggplant can actually help combat inflammation in the body!

Kale nutrition & health benefits

Kale is a nutrition powerhouse! Since it is packed with nutrients, there are lots of benefits to eating kale! Just one cup of raw kale provides:

  • 2 grams of dietary fiber
  • 3 grams of plant-based protein
  • Over 100 percent of your daily Vitamin C needs
  • Over 200 percent of your daily Vitamin A needs, from beta-carotene
  • Over 600 percent of your daily Vitamin K needs
  • Other micronutrients, including calcium, manganese, copper, and potassium

Additionally, kale has several antioxidants, including Vitamin C, beta-carotene, flavonoids, and polyphenols. Antioxidants help fight inflammation, keep our cells healthy, and protect against certain diseases.

hand taking a bite from a bowl of papardelle pasta with tomato eggplant sauce topped with burrata cheese and basil

Let me know if you love this recipe by leaving a comment or star rating below, and check out Instagram and Pinterest for more healthy lifestyle inspiration. Thanks for stopping by!

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bowl of pappardelle pasta with tomato eggplant sauce topped with burrata cheese and basil

Roasted Eggplant & Kale Pappardelle with Burrata

  • Author: Alex Aldeborgh
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4
  • Category: main dish
  • Method: Stovetop and oven
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

This vegetarian pappardelle pasta recipe is packed with vegetables, thanks to a thick and hearty tomato sauce with roasted eggplant and kale. Prepare the sauce on the stovetop as your roast cubes of eggplant in oven. Serve this pasta topped with burrata cheese to add a rich and creamy flavor. Ready in 30 minutes, an easy weeknight win!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 balls burrata cheese
  • 5 cups eggplant, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 4 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper
  • 1/2 cup white onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 3 cups curly kale, stems removed and roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil
  • 12 oz pappardelle pasta

Instructions

  1. Remove burrata from the fridge when you begin making the recipe so it can be served at room temperature.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Toss the eggplant cubes with 2 tbsp olive oil and a generous pinch of salt and pepper so each piece is coated.
  4. Spread eggplant out onto the prepared baking sheet. Roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown and fork tender.
  5. While the eggplant is in the oven, prepare the sauce on the stovetop. Heat the remaining 2 tbsp olive oil in a saute pan or stock pot over medium heat.
  6. Add onion and garlic, season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent.
  7. Stir in the Italian seasoning to bloom the spices for a minute.
  8. Pour in the canned crushed tomatoes and add a little more salt to taste.
  9. Stir everything up and let the sauce continue to cook over medium heat, stirring so it doesn’t burn.
  10. After about 10 minutes, stir in the kale. The kale will look like a lot when you add it, but it should wilt down significantly as it cooks.
  11. Once the kale is wilted down, stir in the roasted eggplant cubes. Reduce heat to low.
  12. Prepare pappardelle pasta according to package instructions in water salted with 1/2 tbsp salt.
  13. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking water. Stir it into the sauce.
  14. Toss the cooked noodles in the sauce right away.
  15. Plate and serve each bowl with half a ball of burrata cheese, fresh basil, and freshly cracked black pepper.

Notes

Storing and reheating leftover pasta

This pasta keeps well in the fridge for up to three days. Store it in an airtight container without the burrata cheese. Reheat individual portions in the microwave for about 1 minute, or until warmed through. Then, add the burrata and basil to serve.

Pappardelle substitute

If you can’t find pappardelle pasta, you can use tagliatelle or fettuccine as a good substitute.

Keywords: pappardelle with burrata, kale pasta recipes, how to roast eggplant in the oven