Creamy Eggplant Ragu

This recipe for a classic eggplant and pasta dish was submitted by Locavorious member Ashley. It can be made quickly in the winter time using frozen eggplant and frozen stewed tomatoes.  During late summer it can be made with fresh eggplant and tomatoes.  The recipe’s simplicity really lets the summer flavors shine. You can also give it a boost with some minced hot peppers or a handful of chopped fresh herbs such as oregano, parsley or basil.

Ingredients

1 package of Locavorious frozen eggplant—thawed, or in summer, 1 medium eggplant chopped into bite-sized cubes
1 can of crushed tomatoes, 1 pint of Locavorious frozen tomatoes, or in summer, ~ 3 cups of lightly stewed tomatoes
1 or more cloves of garlic, minced
salt and pepper
red pepper flakes (optional)
olive oil
1 small white onion or 1/2 a large one
cream, just enough for a couple large splashes
butter 1 T or so
red wine
Orzo pasta, cooked
Parmesan cheese

Steps:

1. Pour a glass of your favorite red wine.
2. Begin drinking the wine.
3. Dice up the onion.
4. Mince the garlic.
5. Add some olive oil to a large skillet.
6. Once nice and hot, add onion and saute.
7. When the onion starts to brown, add the garlic and brown that as well. Don’t burn the garlic!!
8. Add a bit of butter to the pan and let it melt and get bubbly. Turn the heat down when you do this so it doesn’t brown or burn the butter.
9. Add the eggplant right away.
10. Let all of these hang out in the pan for a few minutes or so, season with S&P and red pepper flakes if desired.
11. By now you should be almost done with that glass of wine. Pour the last few gulps into the skillet. Let it sizzle, stir.
12. Add the crushed tomatoes. Break them apart as you add them so you don’t have any big chunks in the mix.
13. Let everything be at a high simmer for a few minutes, stirring now and again.
14. You will be able to tell when it is done. Taste and add more salt and pepper to taste, and/or red pepper flakes too, for a bit of heat.
15. Turn the heat off. Give it a few seconds.
16. Add a few splashes of the cream, folding it in slowly.
17. Pour over some pasta–I especially like it with orzo.
18. Top with parmesan cheese, if you like.
19. Serve and enjoy!!

You don’t actually have to drink the wine. It might taste better if you do…

Creamy eggplant ragu web

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