So I whipped up some bolognese (meat sauce) with some eggplant the other day, basically making it up as I went along, and wanted to share it because it was really easy, hearty and great to keep in the fridge all week! I added mine to some pasta and plan on bringing it for lunch for the next few days.
6-8 (really depends on how much you want to add to your serving of pasta; this is a conservative estimate)
2 medium sized eggplants
TIP: the longer the eggplant, the less bitter it is; however, smaller eggplants are harder to find but if you do, pick out about 4 small ones
2 cloves of garlic (chopped)
1 Can of diced tomatoes (24 oz.)
1 1/2 lbs. of ground beef (I used 90% lean, 10% fat)
1. Peel strips of the eggplant skin off with a knife (I peel it so it looks striped but doesn't have to be perfect), and dice them; be sure to remove the stem on top
2. Set the stove to medium high; add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a large sauté pan (big and shallow; see picture below) and add the garlic
3. When the garlic starts to brown, add the eggplant
4. Regularly stirring (about once every 2 minutes), cook the eggplant until it starts to brown and become tender
5. Add the tomatoes, as well as a dash of salt and pepper
6. Lower the heat to medium, and let the sauce cook the eggplant in it for about 7 minutes
7. When the sauce is boiling and the eggplant is fully tender, remove from heat and set in a sauce pan (deep pan used to boil water)
8. Add 2 more tablespoons of olive oil to the same sauté pan and add the meat
9. With a spoon or spatula, start mixing the meat and stir regularly
10. Cook the meat until it is completely brown (I like to try to drain some of the oil that has collected at the bottom to be healthier but this is optional)
11. Add the meat to the tomato sauce on the side and its ready!
I always always top mine with Parmesan but mozzarella is great too! Sometimes when I am on a healthy, low-carb kick I will eat this sauce alone (because its so meaty and substantial) or over raw spinach. When I need pasta, I make a box of pasta to go with it: either regular, whole wheat pasta, or even quinoa pasta. However, you do want to pick out a noodle that is larger and will hold up to the sauce. The sauce will keep in the fridge for about a week. It's really filling and ends up being so so much cheaper than buying lunch every day.