Mushroom, harissa and eggplant pasta

Hearty mixed mushroom, harissa and eggplant pasta sauce.
Hearty mixed mushroom, harissa and eggplant pasta sauce. Photo: Katrina Meynink

The harissa, eggplant and mushroom combo is such an unexpected delight. I've used this over pasta for dinner, then as leftovers with eggs and toast the next morning, it really is the sort of sauce that continues to give.


1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp butter

750g mixed mushrooms (I used Brown, swiss and field mushrooms), finely chopped

1 brown onion, finely chopped

4 garlic cloves, crushed

1 small-medium eggplant (about 400g), chopped into 1cm cubes

1 tbsp ground cumin

1 tbsp ground coriander

1 tbsp sweet smoked paprika

2 tsp dried oregano

1 cup white wine

2 x 400g cans crushed tomatoes

½ cup semi-dried tomatoes

1 tbsp harissa paste

500g fresh pasta

freshly grated parmesan, to serve


1. Place a casserole dish or heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Add the oil and butter and once melted and starting to foam add the mushrooms, garlic, onion and eggplant and cook until golden, stirring occasionally (about 2-5 minutes).

2. Add the spices and cook for another minute before adding the wine, tinned and semi-dried tomatoes and harissa. Turn the heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes or until the liquid has reduced and the sauce thickens.

3. Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until al dente (3-5 minutes or according to packet instructions). Drain and divide among bowls. Spoon over the mushroom and eggplant sauce and serve immediately, drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil and scattered with parmesan.