Roasted Eggplant Ragu + Pappardelle Noodles is a wonderful way to use your end-of-summer eggplant and work in a meatless meal into your week!
It is painful to admit, but I can feel summer winding down. School is back in session, the leaves are just beginning to think about changing color and the nights are cooling off fast. I love fall in Minnesota, but there isn’t much that can compare to long summer days…. except for maybe this pasta. Maybe. Well, it’s pretty damn close.
I wanted to try something different with some of our last few garden eggplants of the season, but I couldn’t quite swing my Eggplant Parmesan because 1) my eggplant was a little too narrow to create that eggplant “bed” that is needed for Eggplant Parm and 2) I just didn’t have enough time. Soooo, I thought I would incorporate some of the same ingredients as the Eggplant Parmesan, but put them together in a little different way. Boom – Roasted Eggplant Ragu.
Now, for those of you keeping track, Ragu is typically a meat-based pasta sauce – obviously, here I have switched out the meat for eggplant (I know – I am a genius) – the result was pretty amazing. The tomatoes were bursting with flavor, the eggplant provides an earthy flavor, a couple chunks of mozzarella or burrata cheese adds some savoriness…. all wrapped around thick pappardelle noodles (one of my favorites!) – if fall is coming, this is what I want to be eating.
Eggplant Ragu – a delicious, hearty eggplant ragu recipe that is perfect for late summer dinners! Serve with noodles and fresh mozzarella!
- 1 medium-sized eggplant, cut into bite-sized chunks (about 1/2 to 1 inch chunks) (make sure egpplant is fresh – older eggplant can tend to get mushy when roasted)
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 3–4 medium tomatoes, diced into 1 inch chunks
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 10 cherry tomatoes
- 1 Tablespoon red wine
- 2 Teaspoons kosher salt, divided
- 1/2 Teaspoon oregano leaves
- 1/3 Teaspoon basil leaves
- 5 garlic cloves, quartered
- 1 Teaspoon capers
- Mozzarella or burrata cheese to chunk on top.
- 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves for garnish
- Pappardelle noodles (approx. 6-9 oz) (gluten-free works too – I love this brand!)
- Preheat oven to 400.
- In medium-sized bowl, add eggplant, 2 Tablespoons olive oil and 1 Teaspoon salt; toss.
- On cookie sheet, lined with foil and sprayed with non-stick, place egpplant.
- Roast on second from top oven rack for 20-25 minutes, stirring after 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, take cast iron skillet and add remaining Tablespoon of olive oil and garlic, bring to med-high heat.
- When garlic starts to get fragrant, add onion and let cook until starts to become translucent, while stirring.
- Then add tomatoes, wine, remaining Teaspoon of salt, oregano, basil and capers.
- Let simmer, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes on high, or until sauce thickens – make sure to taste the sauce and add any additional ingredients to your liking. If sauce gets too thick, add additional olive oil or wine.
- Prepare pappardelle pasta according to packaging instructions (al dente is recommended).
- Add eggplant and stir together.
- Plate pappardell noodles and cover with Roasted Eggplant Ragu, chunk either mozzarella or burrata cheese (as much or as little as you like) and rip some fresh basil on top.
Keywords: eggplant ragu