Penne with Fried Eggplants


Main Dish
Penne with Fried Eggplants

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Crispy fried eggplants add a meaty texture to this Italian vegetarian pasta dish.

Click to watch Chef Edi make his Penne with Fried Eggplants.

For more recipes from Chef Edi, visit

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Servings and Ingredients

Serves 6
1 (16-oz.) pkg. Gustare penne rigate pasta
2 medium eggplants, peeled and diced 1-inch-thick
4 c. Mazola corn oil, for frying
2 c. Argo cornstarch
1 tbsp. Gustare Vita olive oil
2 clove(s) garlic, minced
1 tsp. Hy-Vee red pepper flakes
8 oz. cherry tomatoes, assorted colors, halved
Hy-Vee salt, to taste
2 tbsp. fresh basil, chopped, plus additional for garnish
1 (17.6 oz.) bottle Gustare Mediterranean pasta sauce
2 oz. Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, shredded, plus additional for garnish
5 oz. smoked fresh mozzarella, chopped

Things To Grab

  • Large Skillet
  • Colander
  • Fine-mesh strainer
  • Medium heavy-bottomed pot
  • Clip-on thermometer
  • Paper towels
  • Skimmer
  • Large sheet pan
  • Large skillet


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and keep warm.

  2. Place diced eggplants into a fine-mesh strainer and season with salt. Allow salt to extract water from eggplant in strainer for about 20 minutes.

  3. Fill a medium heavy-bottomed skillet with canola oil and heat over medium heat. Bring oil to 300 degrees as measured with a clip-on thermometer.

  4. Pat eggplant dry with paper towels and toss with cornstarch, shaking off excess. Once oil has reached 300 degrees, add coated eggplant to hot oil. Fry eggplant until tender and golden brown, remove eggplant using a skimmer. Place on a large sheet pan lined with paper towels.

    Hyvee Culinary Expert Tip
    Fry your coated eggplant in small batches to make sure that your oil does not drop in temperature. If your oil temperature drops, this can result in oily and mushy eggplant.
    HSTV EdItalianChef Edi, EdItalianHSTV Personality
  5. In a large skillet, add olive oil and heat over medium heat. Add garlic, red pepper flakes, and tomatoes; season with salt. Cook for 1 minute and then add basil and Gustare Vita Mediterranean pasta sauce. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Once pasta sauce has reduced and thickened slightly, add fried eggplants. Continue cooking for 2 minutes.

  6. Add cooked pasta and Parmesan to the pasta sauce and eggplants; heat through. Remove from heat and top with mozzarella cheese. Garnish with shredded Parmesan and fresh basil, if desired.

Nutrition facts


720 Calories per serving

Amounts Per Serving

  • Total Fat: 36g
  • Cholesterol: 25mg
  • Sodium: 450mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 80g
  • Protein: 19g

Daily Values

Iron 15%
Calcium 20%
Vitamin D 0%
Potassium 15%