Beef & Eggplant Ragu with Rotini Pasta.

  • 2
    eggplants
  • 1 small pkg
    fresh basil
  • 4 cloves
    garlic
  • 1 ½ lb
    lean ground beef
  • 8 oz
    rotini pasta
  • 2 tbsp
    tomato paste
  • 2 (8 oz) cans
    tomato sauce
  •  
    black pepper
  •  
    crushed red pepper
  •  
    oregano
  •  
    salt
  • 1
    Fill a large pot 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.
    2 eggplants
    1 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 eggplants; medium dice the eggplants 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.
    1 ½ lb lean ground beef
  • 6
    When the water in the pot comes to a boil, uncover the pot 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 1 cup of the cooking water.
    2 tbsp salt
    8 oz (about 3 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.
    4 cloves garlic
  • 9
    Add the garlic, oregano, crushed red pepper, and tomato paste to the skillet; stir until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.
    ½ tsp oregano
    ¼ tsp crushed red pepper
    2 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.
    2 (8 oz) cans tomato sauce
    1 tsp salt
    ½ 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!