Busiati with eggplant and garlic & thyme breadcrumbs

Today’s dish is a recipe I came up with a little while ago.  Do you ever have a day when you want to use up ingredients that are taking too much place in your pantry or fridge?  It happens quite often to me and when it does, I take them all out, put them on my kitchen counter and then I start pairing them until I have come up with something I think is going to work.  The good thing is, it usually works out pretty well and I have made quite a few interesting dishes this way.  Today’s recipe was one of these “experiments” and it was so good that I decided to share it on the blog.  The first time I made it, I used store bought strozzapreti, but in the below recipe I have used home-made busiati, so if you want to try and make your own pasta, you can follow my tutorial on how to make busiati.  The sauce is an ode to Sicily and my origins as it is made with many ingredients commonly used in Sicilian cuisine like olives, capers, eggplant and tomatoes.  Also, I paired this pasta with garlic breadcrumbs which are a common substitute for grated cheese in Sicily and were used a lot in the past as they were a much cheaper option.  I LOVE the crunch they add to the pasta and the kick that the garlic gives to the dish.  Try it, it won’t disappoint!  Remember to check out my other Regional Italian dishes and… buon appetito!

Busiati with eggplant and garlic & thyme breadcrumbs

5.0 from 1 reviews
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 4
  • 6-7 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tbsp of tomato purée
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 eggplant
  • 1 tbsp capers
  • 1 tbsp black olives, halved
  • Basil, a few leaves
  • Salt to taste
Garlic & thyme breadcrumbs:
  • 6 tbsp breadcrumbs
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 big cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 360 gms – 12.5 oz. of home-made busiati (strozzapreti or fusilli)
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  1. You can follow this step by step tutorial.
  1. Start by preparing the eggplant. Cut it into 1.5 cm cubes and put them in salty water for half an hour.
  2. Pat them dry and put them on a baking dish layered with baking paper. Drizzle with some extra virgin olive oil and broil them in a very hot oven for a few minutes, until golden and crisp. Keep them aside.
  3. Crush the garlic and put it in a frying pan with 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil. Let it fry on a low fire for a minute.
  4. Add the halved cherry tomatoes, the tomato purée, a pinch of salt and 3 tbsp of water. Let the sauce cook for 5 minutes on a slow fire.
  5. Add the capers, halved black olives and a few basil leaves.
  6. Add the baked eggplant cubes and mix well. Then put the fire off and keep it aside.
Garlic & thyme breadcrumbs:
  1. Crush the the garlic cloves in a mortar and pestle.
  2. Add the breadcrumbs, thyme and extra virgin olive oil. Mix well and keep it aside.
  3. Cook the busiati following the steps on How to cook pasta “al dente” in the Techniques page of this site, but drain it 1 minute before it is fully cooked as it will finish cooking together with the sauce.
  4. Before draining the pasta, put 2 tbsp of the pasta water in the tomato and eggplant sauce.
  5. Put the drained pasta in the frying pan with the sauce and add 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil. Mix well.
  6. Serve with the garlic and thyme breadcrumbs on the top.

Busiati with eggplant and garlic & thyme breadcrumbs

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  1. says

    Hi Manu! I didn’t know busiati, but strozzapreti yes!!! I really love the fact that you post “summer” dishes, because in Australia it’s summer time, while here, in Italy, it’s a really cold, cold winter…reading your recipes it’s like to be on holiday for me!!! Thank you also for the tutorial of homemade pasta…I’ll try them soon! Bye!DanielaC.

  2. says

    I love making homemade pasta but usually stick to easy shapes. I think I’m ready to step out of my comfort zone and tackle something new like your busiati. Thanks for the tutorial.

  3. says

    Wow, I am going to have to try this recipe! It is very like something I had in Trapani while waiting for a ferry to Marettimo, and it was utterly delicious. Love your blog too!

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