Eggplant Ikra Spaghetti


Recipe Intro From anastasiazolotarev

If you're unfamiliar, 'ikra' is a traditional Russian and Slavic dish, often referred to as a vegetable caviar or relish. This easy-to-make recipe combines roasted eggplant, tomatoes, and garlic to create a savory sauce that pairs perfectly with spaghetti. With just a few simple ingredients, you can enjoy a taste of tradition in less than an hour!

Recipe Description

This recipe draws inspiration from the culinary traditions of Eastern Europe, where 'ikra' is a beloved dish known for its rich flavors and hearty ingredients. Originating from Russian and Slavic cuisines, ikra typically consists of roasted or stewed vegetables, often including eggplant, tomatoes, and peppers, cooked down into a flavorful spread. This adaptation adds a modern twist by serving ikra over spaghetti, creating a fusion of flavors that pay homage to the diverse and delicious heritage of Eastern European cuisine.

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  • Ikra Ingredients
  • Test Kitchen Notes
  • FAQs
  • Recipe Card

Ikra Ingredients

Everything you need to make eggplant ikra spaghetti.

  • Passata: Passata is a type of tomato purée that is made from strained tomatoes. It is smooth in texture and has a bright, fresh flavor. If you can't find passata, you can substitute it with tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes. However, be aware that these alternatives may have a different texture and flavor profile.

    Adjika: Adjika is a spicy, aromatic paste that is commonly used in Russian and Georgian cuisines. It is made from red chili peppers, garlic, and a variety of herbs and spices. If you don't have adjika, you can substitute it with a mix of chili paste or hot sauce, garlic, and a pinch of dried herbs like coriander and fenugreek. Adjust the amount according to your taste preference, as adjika can vary in spiciness. Or for a less spicy option adding a sundried tomato pesto also works.

Test Kitchen Notes

  • Selecting Eggplants: Choose eggplants that are firm, shiny, and free of blemishes. Smaller eggplants tend to have fewer seeds and a sweeter flavor.

    Roasting the Eggplants: Pierce the eggplant skin with a fork before roasting to allow steam to escape and prevent bursting. Roast until the eggplants are completely softened and collapsed for the best texture and flavor in the sauce.

    Peeling the Eggplants: Let the roasted eggplants cool slightly before peeling. The skin should easily peel away from the flesh. Removing the skin ensures a smoother texture in the sauce.

    Adjusting Spiciness: Adjika can vary in spiciness, so taste and adjust the amount according to your preference. You can also add a pinch of red pepper flakes for extra heat.

    Serving Suggestions: Garnish the finished dish with fresh parsley, a drizzle of olive oil, and a sprinkle of smoked paprika for a beautiful presentation and added flavor.

    Make-Ahead Tip: The eggplant ikra sauce can be made ahead of time and refrigerated for up to 3 days. Simply reheat gently on the stovetop before serving.

    Storage: Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently on the stovetop or in the microwave before serving.


What is Ikra in Russian?

What is eggplant caviar made of?

Can I freeze eggplant caviar?

Prep time 15mins
Cook time 1hr
Serves or Makes: 4

Recipe Card


  • 2 globe eggplants (also known as American or Italian eggplants)
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 cup passata (or tomato puree)
  • 1 tablespoon adjika
  • 1 cup grated parmesan
  • 1/2 pound spaghetti
  • Smoked paprika, to taste
  • 1 bunch parsley, leaves only, chopped
  • Olive oil, as needed
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  • Step 1

    Preheat the oven to 400°F.

  • Step 2

    Place the whole eggplants and the red pepper onto a baking tray.

  • Step 3

    Use a fork to pierce holes into the eggplant skin.

  • Step 4

    Drizzle with plenty of olive oil and sprinkle with salt.

  • Step 5

    Place into the oven and cook for 35-40 minutes until the eggplants have softened and their shape has dropped.

  • Step 6

    Set aside and cool for 5 minutes.

  • Step 7

    Peel the skin off the eggplants and the pepper.

  • Step 8

    Remove the inside seeds of the pepper.

  • Step 9

    Transfer the peeled eggplants and pepper onto a cutting board.

  • Step 10

    Roughly chop the cooked vegetables into a coarsely textured mix so that they are combined together.

  • Step 11

    Fill a large pot with 3/4 water.

  • Step 12

    Season with salt and close with a lid.

  • Step 13

    Bring to the boil.

  • Step 14

    Meanwhile, heat a pan with a drizzle of olive oil.

  • Step 15

    Add the diced onion and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the onion has softened.

  • Step 16

    Add the crushed garlic, stir it through the onion and cook for 30 seconds.

  • Step 17

    Add the eggplant and capsicum mix in.

  • Step 18

    Pour in the passata, the adjika, and a good drizzle of olive oil.

  • Step 19

    Season with salt and pepper.

  • Step 20

    Stir through and cook on a medium heat for 10 minutes or until the eggplant sauce has reduced slightly.

  • Step 21

    Meanwhile, prepare your pasta by placing it into the boiling water.

  • Step 22

    Cook it according to the packet instructions.

  • Step 23

    Once the pasta is ready, strain it in a sieve.

  • Step 24

    Transfer the pasta back into the pot.

  • Step 25

    Add the eggplant ikra and mix it through the pasta.

  • Step 26

    Divide the pasta onto the plates.

  • Step 27

    Top with smoked salt or a sprinkle of smoked paprika, the fresh parsley, an extra drizzle of olive oil, and the parmesan cheese.

  • Step 28

    Add extra chili relish or sauce over the top if desired.

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