Tagliatelle with Eggplant, Peppers, and Plum Tomatoes

by DerdriuMarriner

Tagliatelle, from Italy's Emilia-Romagna and Marche regions, may be green or yellow in color. Featured is a tagliatelle recipe which includes eggplant, peppers and plum tomatoes.

Tagliare is an Italian verb which means "to cut" in English. It is the source of the world tagliatelle. Tagliatelle also may be called taglione.

Tagliatelle is a pasta which is associated culturally with a specific area of the Italian peninsula. It is the beloved pasta of the Italian administrative region of Emilia-Romagna. It also is the much loved pasta of the neighboring administrative region of Marche ("Marches") di Ancona, Camerino e Fermo.

Ceiling mosaic, Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, UNESCO World Heritage Site, 5th - 6th centuries, Ravenna, Emilia-Romagna
Ceiling mosaic, Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, UNESCO World Heritage Site, 5th - 6th centuries, Ravenna, Emilia-Romagna


Emilia-Romagna is found in northeastern Italy. It particularly is known as the location of the oldest university in western Europe: The University of Bologna. But it also is renowned for its architecture, automobiles, cuisine, football, and Renaissance cities.

The Marches borders Emilia-Romagna to the southeast. Historically, it is a less affluent region within Italy's prosperous north. Traditionally, it is considered one of the peninsula's agricultural regions.

But the Marches now is characterized as one of Italy's changing regions. It still is known for its agriculture and traditional crafts. But it also is respected worldwide as a leader in the following lucrative regards:

  • Footwear;
  • Furniture;
  • Household appliances;
  • Leather goods;
  • Paper;
  • Petrochemicals;
  • Shipbuilding.


Civitanova, The Marches, on a moonlit night
Civitanova, The Marches, on a moonlit night


The changing region of the Marches also holds dear another lucrative industry: pasta-making. In

this regard, the entrepreneurs and inhabitants of the Marches particularly love their tagliatelle.

They share this culinary devotion with their neighbors to the north, in Emilia-Romagna.


Egg and spinach tagliatelle
Egg and spinach tagliatelle


Here are the ingredients which you will need for a scrumptious preparation of tagliatelle.


17.6 ounces tagliatelle pasta, consisting of:

  • 8.8 ounces egg tagliatelle + 8.8 ounces spinach tagliatelle

3 Tablespoons oil: EVOO or sunflower

1 medium red onion, chopped or sliced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 can (14 ounces) Strianese whole peeled D.O.P. San Marzano tomatoes

  • Or:  substitute 3 - 4 fresh plum tomatoes, chopped

1 large eggplant, cut into strips

3 peppers, sliced or diced

  • suggestion:  one of each color: green, red, yellow

1 Tablespoon fresh chopped parsley

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon white pepper

1 package (about 5 ounces) baby arugula leaves

  • Note: This is optional but really not to be missed; it accessorizes this recipe perfectly and flavorfully.

Parmigiano-Reggiano grated cheese, sprinklings according to taste

  • Note: Parmigiano-Reggiano is produced primarily in Emilia-Romagna but also in the neighboring northern region of Lombardia.


three colors of eggplant: white (left), red purple (top), purple black (right)
three colors of eggplant: white (left), red purple (top), purple black (right)


Here is what needs to be done:


1. In a large pot bring water to a boil. 

  • Add tagliatelle and cook until al dente (usually 6-7 minutes).

2. While the pasta is cooking, in a medium or large skillet heat oil over medium heat.

  • Add red onion and garlic. Stir occasionally until the onion softens, about 3 minutes.
  • Add eggplant, tomatoes, peppers, and seasonings. Stir occasionally until thoroughly heated, about 3 minutes.
  • Reduce heat to simmer and return to tagliatelle, which should be close to or at al dente.

3. Drain tagliatelle into a colander.

  • Note: I have a colander-pot set which I use so that the pasta water is then reserved for stews or allowed to cool and then is used to water house and garden plants, which really thrive.
  • Return tagliatelle to its cooking pot.
  • Add ingredients from the skillet and lightly combine.
  • Note: Add arugula, if including in this recipe, and toss lightly.

Serve hot.

Provide grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese for sprinkling, if desired by diners.


eggplant tomato pasta with chunks of fresh parmiggiano and reggiano cheese
eggplant tomato pasta with chunks of fresh parmiggiano and reggiano cheese



One of my favorite variations converts this recipe into a meat dish by replacing eggplant with prosciutto di Parma or di San Daniele. Also for this variation arugula is replaced with baby spinach leaves.

While not providing the color contrast of eggplant, zucchini easily accommodates to this recipe.

Any pasta can substitute well for tagliatelle. My favorite substitutions include such ribbon-cut pastas as angel hair pasta, fettuccine, and linguine.

Also eggplant displays a variety of skin colors other than reddish purple or dark purple. Substitute other colors, which range from white to yellow or green or bicolored striping.


tagliatelle with prosciutto di Parma and spinach
tagliatelle with prosciutto di Parma and spinach



My special thanks to:

  • Talented artists and photographers/concerned organizations who make their fine images available on the Internet;
  • Teresa Giudice for generously sharing culinary treasures and family anecdotes in her beautiful cookbook, Skinny Italian.
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University for superior on-campus and on-line resources.


My recipe is a variation of a classic recipe presented by Teresa Giudice, "Teresa's Favorite Tagliatelle," on page 106 of her excellent Italian cook book, Skinny Italian.


sliced red onions: colorful contributor to recipes
sliced red onions: colorful contributor to recipes

Sources Consulted


Accademia Italiana della Cucina (The Italian Academy of Cuisine). La cucina: the regional cooking of Italy. Translated by Jay Hyams. New York : Rizzoli, 2009.

Castelvetro, Giacomo. The Fruit, Herbs and Vegetables of Italy (1614). Translated and introduced by Gillian Riley. Devon, England: Prospect Books, 2012.

Giudice, Teresa, with Heather Maclean. Skinny Italian. New York: Hyperion, 2010.

Riley, Gillian. The Oxford Companion to Italian Food. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2007.

Serventi, Silvano, and Sabban, Françoise, La pasta: storia e cultura di un cibo universale. Roma:  Edizioni Laterza, 2000.

Serventi, Silvano, and Françoise Sabban. Pasta: The Story of a Universal Food. Translated by Antony Shugaar. New York; Chichester, West Sussex: Columbia University Press, 2002.


Trio of tagliatelle with eggplant and garlic serve as basis for great recipes.
Trio of tagliatelle with eggplant and garlic serve as basis for great recipes.
the end which is also the beginning
the end which is also the beginning

Skinny Italian: Eat It and Enjoy It - Live La Bella Vita and Look Great, Too!

Italian recipes by Teresa Giudice with Heather Maclean
Italian cookbooks

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Giuseppe Garibaldi Macaroni Label - Philadelphia, PA
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DerdriuMarriner, All Rights Reserved
DerdriuMarriner, All Rights Reserved
Updated: 08/12/2014, DerdriuMarriner
Thank you! Would you like to post a comment now?


DerdriuMarriner on 05/16/2014

Mira, Me, too, I used to think of spices in recipes as "the more the merrier." :-)
Now I like to concentrate to explore nuances, which are clearer in smaller groups!
I love the combination of white and black peppers.
I'm honored that you're craving pasta after reading this recipe. It doesn't take much to invoke pasta hankerings for me.

Mira on 05/15/2014

So you added both white pepper and black pepper this time. I usually go for one of the other. In the past, I tended to use lots of spices every time, but now I tend to go for only a few. Still, I think white and black pepper together is a good idea.
You made me crave pasta now :)

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