Eggplant Bolognese

It’s that time of month again; time to ReDux a recipe! Here is the theme for the month of December:

It’s the end of the year and we’re taking a moment to reflect – The Recipe ReDux has been around for 54 months! To celebrate, we’re playing a little party game this month: Grab your nearest cookbook and ReDux the recipe on page 54 or 154. We can’t wait to see the books you’re cooking from these days.

Eggplant Bolognese | Zestful Kitchen

Between my sister, my mom, and I, we have most of Ina Garten’s cookbooks. It is likely you will find a Garten recipe at most parties we throw or dinners we prepare. Which is why I turned to her for this Recipe ReDux, she was literally right next to me.

The recipe I am ReDuxing this month comes from Garten’s book, “Barefoot Contessa How Easy is That?” On page 154 she shares a classic northern Italian dish that is hearty and quick to make. Garten’s Weeknight Bolognese is the definition of comfort food, loaded with ground sirloin, San Marzano tomatoes, cream and Parmesan cheese. I immediately knew I wanted to ReDux this dish to be a vegetarian entrée (surprised?). Replacing the ground sirloin with eggplant and mushrooms creates a sauce that has great depth of flavor and texture; you won’t miss the meat at all.

I like to serve this with pasta that has a lot of surface area, like rigatoni or pappardelle. These types of pasta are the perfect vessel for holding a lot of sauce.

Eggplant Bolognese | Zestful Kitchen


Eggplant Bolognese

Eggplant Bolognese | Zestful Kitchen
  • Author: Lauren Grant of Zestful Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Total Time: 55 mins
  • Yield: Serves 4


4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 pound eggplant, peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes

¾ cup diced onion (1 small or ½ of a medium onion)

2/3 cup diced celery

2/3 cup diced carrot

1 cup baby bella or button mushrooms, diced into ¼ inch pieces

4 cloves garlic, minced (3 teaspoons)

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 cup dry red wine (divided)

1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes (preferably San Marzano)

1½ teaspoons dried oregano

1 teaspoon fresh thyme, roughly chopped

Kosher salt and black pepper

16 ounces dried rigatoni pasta

3 tablespoons basil, roughly chopped, plus more for garnish

2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts, for garnish

Parmesan cheese for garnish (optional)


Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high in a dutch oven, until hot. Add eggplant and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes until browned and softened. Transfer eggplant to a medium bowl and add remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil to pan.

Reduce heat to medium and add onion, celery, carrot and mushrooms. Cook for 8-10 minutes until vegetables are softened. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for 1 more minute. Add tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Deglaze pan with ¾ cup of wine and add tomatoes, eggplant, oregano, thyme, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Bring to a boil then lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil, add a tablespoon of salt and the pasta. Cook according to directions on package until al dente.

While pasta is cooking, add remaining wine and basil to sauce. Simmer for an additional 10 minutes. When ready, drain pasta and transfer to a large serving bowl, add the sauce and top with Parmesan, basil and pine nuts.

Eggplant Bolognese | Zestful Kitchen

Eggplant Bolognese | Zestful Kitchen

Eggplant Bolognese | Zestful Kitchen

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *