Roasted Eggplant & Red Pepper Sauce

by Danielle Omar on February 21, 2013

This month’s redux challenge is Oscars in the Kitchen. We were tasked to create a healthy dish inspired by our favorite food scene or featured dish from any movie.  Well, the first (and only, really) movie that popped into my head was a film I saw way back in 1996. It’s called Big Night.  Did you see it? My mom and I watched this movie together and just salivated over the food.  We left the theatre hungry for some pasta! And not just any pasta, but something authentic and meaningful and Italian!  If you haven’t seen it, Big Night was a movie about two brothers, Primo (Tony Shalhoub) and Secondo (Stanley Tucci), who owned a failing Italian restaurant.  One of the reasons the restaurant was failing is because they served Italian food that’s a little “too authentic.”  Their customers want spaghetti and meatballs and they’re making spaghetti and eggs.  Growing up my mom made pasta a few times per week for dinner.  Spaghetti and eggs was a  favorite and to this day it reminds me of home.  Remember my healthy version?

Okay, so for recipe redux I decided to go with a sauce that will knock your Italian socks off.  I loooooove this sauce.  It basically turns everything you eat Italian.  Even if you don’t like eggplant, you’ll still love this sauce.  It’s that good. Primo and Secondo would be proud!

eggplant and red pepper sauce

It’s a delicious mixture of plum tomatoes, roasted eggplant and roasted red peppers, calamata olives and fresh basil.

italian salmon

I’ve put it on baked salmon


I’ve put it on the husband’s chicken thighs

italian pasta

And of course, I’ve tossed it with pasta

I’ve also just eaten it straight from the skillet!  I hope you try it and love this dish as much as I do.

{recipe redux} Roasted Eggplant and Red Pepper Sauce


  • 1 small eggplant, halved lengthwise
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 jar (7 oz) roasted red peppers, drained and sliced (or freshly roasted)
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlice
  • 1 can (14 oz) plum tomatoes
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pitted calamata or cured ripe olives
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 tsp sea salt


  1. Preheat oven to 450. Roast eggplant, cut side down, on a baking sheet until tender, about 30 mins. Cool, remove skin and coarsely chop pulp. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add roasted peppers, pepper flakes and garlic, cook for about 1 minute. Add eggplant, tomatoes with liquid, salt, and olives. Break up tomatoes with wooden spoon. Simmer until eggplant is soft, about 5 mins. Stir in basil. Add to pasta or use as a topper on meats or fish.


And don’t forget to visit my fellow reduxers below to see what Oscar worthy dishes they cooked up!  

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jessica @ Nutritioulicious February 21, 2013 at 2:26 pm

I’ve never seen that movie but it sounds like one I’d love! Not the biggest eggplant fan, but this sauce looks great!


2 Danielle Omar February 22, 2013 at 2:02 am

It’s really good Jessica, it may bring you around to eggplant!


3 Liz - Meal Makeover Mom February 21, 2013 at 2:29 pm

Big Night is a wonderful movie. Love your recipe. So hearty and fresh. Perfect for this month’s RR!


4 Danielle Omar February 22, 2013 at 2:01 am

Thanks, Liz!!


5 Katie - Healthy & Happy Hour February 21, 2013 at 4:18 pm

Now I have to go back and find your spaghetti and egg recipes! Love authentic dishes.


6 Danielle Omar February 22, 2013 at 1:59 am

Spaghetti and eggs is careful, Katie!


7 Serena February 21, 2013 at 10:50 pm

Glad to have you back this month! And you’re back with a BANG. I loved Big Night and this looks so amazing. I’m making it tomorrow!!


8 Danielle Omar February 22, 2013 at 1:58 am

SO glad to be back! I missed my REDUX!! :-)


9 Nina @ Whats for eats? February 22, 2013 at 1:52 am

I haven’t seen this movie, but you had me hooked with how versatile this sauce is. Definitely one to try!


10 Kat @ Eating The Week February 22, 2013 at 5:12 pm

I’d definitely eat that right from the pan, too! Always love to read new tasty ways to use eggplant.


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