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Bucatini with Ricotta, Slow-Roasted Eggplant and Tomatoes

Bucatini Pasta with Ricotta, Slow-Roasted Eggplant and Tomatoes

This beautiful pasta recipe was inspired by the classic and savory Pasta alla Norma from Sicily. It contains most of the same ingredients - just prepared and presented differently. Whimsical bucatini is combined with intensely-flavored slow-roasted tomatoes and eggplant then tossed with creamy ricotta and sharp pecorino.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs 15 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 35 mins
Course Main Course, Pasta
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6 servings


  • 2 pounds eggplant, peeled, cut into 1” chunks
  • 3 pints grape or cherry tomatoes, cut in ½ lengthwise (2 ½ pounds)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil, divided
  • salt for pasta water (see NOTE below)
  • 1 pound uncooked pasta (I used bucatini)
  • 2 heaping Tbsp chopped or thinly sliced garlic
  • 1 cup whole milk ricotta, at room temperature (8 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1 large handful fresh basil, stemmed and chopped or hand-torn
  • salt and black pepper


  • Preheat the oven to 275◦F.
  • Prep all vegetables according to specifications above.
  • Roast the vegetables: Arrange the cut eggplant and tomatoes in a single layer on separate parchment-lined sheet pans. Do not overcrowd the pans. (Use 2 pans for each vegetable, if necessary.) Toss the veggies lightly with about half of the olive oil, then place on a middle oven rack for 2 hours at 275◦F, stirring once about halfway through the cooking process.
  • Once the vegetables are finished, remove them from the oven and sprinkle them lightly with salt. Set aside. (NOTE: The vegetables can be done several hours or up to 1 day in advance. If doing so, hold the roasted vegetables in a sealed container under refrigeration until it is time to cook the pasta.)
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. ⁠ Once the water comes to a boil, add salt, then the pasta, stirring frequently. Cook the pasta for 2 minutes less than the package directions, or about 2 minutes before you think it is al dente. (Be sure to reserve at least 1 cup of the starchy pasta water.)
  • Meanwhile, while the pasta is cooking, combine the garlic and remaining olive oil in a large skillet and heat on medium-high. Sauté for 2-3 minutes or until just starting to brown, then add the roasted vegetables to the pan, just to heat through.
  • When the pasta is ready, transfer it to the skillet along with about ½ cup of the starchy pasta water (to start) and the ricotta. Stir well to fully combine all ingredients and let the pasta finish cooking in the sauce and absorb all of those wonderful flavors! Add additional pasta water if more moisture is needed.
  • When the pasta is al dente, turn off the heat, then fold in the pecorino and basil, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Finish with a healthy drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.
  • Serve warm with additional fresh basil. Buon Appetito!


  • Whether you decide to go with large or small cuts on the vegetables to be roasted, the most important thing is to keep all pieces basically the same size, so that they all cook in the same amount of time.
  • Be sure to separate the eggplant and tomatoes onto different sheet pans, arrange the vegetables in a single-layer and do not overcrowd the pan.
  • Salt the tomatoes and eggplant after they are finished roasting, not before, to prevent the vegetables from steaming in the oven.
  • Use a large (7-8 quart) pot with 6 quarts water for 1 pound of pasta. Bring the water to a boil before adding the salt. Use 1 1/2 - 2 Tbsp salt, depending on which type used. (See comment in INGREDIENTS above.)
  • Combine the garlic and the oil in the pan at the same time, then slowly bring the temperature up.
  • Make sure the ricotta is room temperature before adding it to the hot pasta.
  • The pasta water is key! Add it to the veggies along with the pasta and ricotta for the additional moisture needed to finish cooking the pasta.
  • Don't forget to drizzle the finished dish with some high quality extra-virgin olive oil for an additional hit of flavor and richness.
Recipe by Mangia With Michele. Please visit my site for more great cooking inspiration!
If you try this recipe, please share a photo on INSTAGRAM or FACEBOOK and tag it @MangiaWithMichele and #MangiaWithMichele. I’d love to see it!
Keyword pasta, pasta recipes, bucatini, spaghetti, pasta alla norma, roasted tomatoes