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Photograph of rigatoni pasta tossed with bolognese sauce on a white plate with black background

Eggplant Bolognese

  • Author: Lauren Grant of Zestful Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Total Time: 55 mins
  • Yield: Serves 4 1x


  • 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.

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