Beef & Eggplant Ragu with Rotini Pasta.

  • 1
  • ½ small pkg
    fresh basil
  • 2 cloves
  • ¾ lb
    lean ground beef
  • 4 oz
    rotini pasta
  • 1 tbsp
    tomato paste
  • 1 (8 oz) can
    tomato sauce
    black pepper
    crushed red pepper
  • 1
    Fill a medium saucepan about halfway with hot water (from the tap); cover with a lid and bring to a boil over high heat.
  • 2
    Wash and dry the fresh produce.
    1 eggplant
    ½ small pkg fresh basil
  • 3
    Preheat a skillet over medium-high heat.
  • 4
    While the skillet heats up, trim off and discard the ends of the eggplant; medium dice the eggplant into ½-inch cubes and transfer to a bowl.
  • 5
    Once the skillet is hot, add the ground beef; cook, breaking apart with a spoon, until browned and crumbly, 3 to 4 minutes. Once done, transfer to a bowl, leaving the juices in the saucepan.
    ¾ lb lean ground beef
  • 6
    When the water in the saucepan comes to a boil, uncover the pan and season the water with salt, then add the pasta and stir for a few seconds. Cook the pasta, uncovered, for 11 to 12 minutes (or according to package directions). Drain the pasta in a colander, reserving ½ cup of the cooking water.
    1 tbsp salt
    4 oz (about 1 ½ cups) rotini pasta
  • 7
    Once the beef has been transferred, add the eggplant to the skillet; cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, 4 to 6 minutes.
  • 8
    While the eggplant cooks, trim off and discard the root ends of the garlic; peel and mince or press the garlic.
    2 cloves garlic
  • 9
    Add the garlic, oregano, crushed red pepper, and tomato paste to the skillet; stir until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.
    ¼ tsp oregano
    ⅛ tsp crushed red pepper
    1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 10
    Add the ground beef and tomato sauce to the skillet; season with salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 4 to 6 minutes.
    1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
    ½ tsp salt
    ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 11
    Pick the basil leaves off the stems; discard the stems and roughly chop the leaves.
  • 12
    Add the pasta, reserved cooking water, and about ¾ of the basil (save the rest for garnishing); stir until the ragu and pasta are well combined.
  • 13
    To serve, divide the pasta between bowls and garnish with the remaining basil. Enjoy!