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anelletti pasta eggplant boats
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5 from 14 votes

Anelletti Pasta Eggplant Boats

These delicious Italian pasta stuffed eggplant boats are not only easy to make and really delicious, but your guests will love this unusual way to serve pasta.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian, Southern Italian
Keyword: anelletti, baked pasta recipe, eggplant boats, eggplants, Italian recipe, pasta bake, pasta stuffed eggplants
Servings: 4
Calories: 458kcal
Author: Jacqueline De Bono


  • 180 g anelletti pasta (6.5oz)
  • 2 eggplants (large)
  • 8-10 cherry tomatoes (you can omit these)
  • 300 g tomato passata (10oz) I used Mutti
  • 2 garlic cloves peeled
  • 150 g primo sale cheese (5oz) or ricotta salata or feta
  • Parmigiano or grana grated - or vegetarian parmesan
  • 1 tsp peperoncino flakes (optional)
  • 2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (you may need more as eggplant absorbs the oil)
  • salt for pasta and to taste
  • black pepper to taste
  • basil leaves (for presentation)
  • breadcrumbs as required


  • Put a pot of salted water on to boil (use this for the eggplant shells and pasta)
  • Cut the eggplants in half after washing them. Then remove the flesh with a sharp knife and cut it into cubes/ small pieces. Peel the garlic and wash and cut the cherry tomatoes in half or quarters.
  • Boil the eggplant shells for about 5 minutes. Remove them from the water and let them cool. Keep the water simmering.
  • In a non-stick pan, fry the peeled garlic cloves in a tablespoon of olive oil. Add the eggplant flesh and cook until it starts to brown. Remove the garlic and add the cherry tomatoes and peperoncino flakes (if using). Once the tomatoes start to soften add the tomato passata. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  • Cook the pasta al dente in the same water as the eggplant shells. Follow the timing instructions on the packet. 
  • Add the primo sale cheese to the eggplant and tomato sauce. 
  • Drain the pasta and mix it well with the sauce. Fill the boats with pasta and sauce. Grease a baking dish (or line it with baking paper) and place the stuffed eggplants in it. Sprinkle them generously with grated parmigiana or grana and breadcrumbs.
  • Sprinkle a little olive oil over the eggplant boats and cook in a preheated oven at 180 ° until golden brown (about 20-25 minutes).
  • Serve immediately with some fresh basil leaves for decoration!


This recipe calls for Sicilian anelletti/anelli pasta rings. If those are not available, you could use other small pasta such as orzo or very small pasta shells.
If you have leftover pasta and sauce it will keep in the fridge for a day or two and you can bake it or heat in the microwave for another meal (we bake ours!)
Italian Parmigiano cheese isn't vegetarian as it's made with animal rennet. To make this recipe vegetarian use vegetarian parmesan.