This eggplant ragù is a great alternative if you are craving a lighter vegetarian version of a meat ragù. It is slow roasted in the oven for about an hour at a low temperature. The velvety polenta makes a great pairing. Sprinkle some shaved parmesan on top and you are good to go!
Eggplant ragù and polenta
- 1 large eggplant cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 onion diced
- 3 cloves of garlic minced
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 cups diced tomatoes
- dried oregano
- 1 cup vegetable broth You can use any broth you like. Even a bouillon cube with 1 cup of water will do the trick.
- kosher salt
- fresh ground pepper
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1/2 cup shaved parmesan cheese Optional
- 1 tbsp fresh oregano leaves Optional
Preheat the oven to 250 F.
In a large cast iron pan, heat 2-3 tbs olive oil over moderate heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is transparent. Add the garlic. Add the tomato paste. Season with salt and pepper. Stir well.
Add the eggplant and cook, stirring occasionally about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, and a generous pinch of dry oregano. Stir well. Add 1 cup of broth and 1/2 tsp of sugar. Stir well and cook for 2-3 min.
Cover the pan with aluminum foil and place it in the preheated oven. Slow cook for 50 minutes or so. Check occasionally to make sure there are no shenanigans.
Prepare the polenta. Find the recipe here.
Remove from heat and adjust salt and pepper to taste. Serve over the polenta with shaved parmesan cheese and a sprinkle of fresh oregano leaves.
You can use the eggplant type you prefer. This time I used a variety of long small eggplants, they were in the vegetable farm box I get every week. Other times I use the regular large eggplants.