Aubergine bolognese is another one of my favourite recipes for the cold autumn and winter nights. I picked up the recipe idea from an Italian restaurant. Their “Pasta Norma” had a few aubergines and tomatoes tossed in spaghetti. I made it a bit heartier, and turned it into a bolognese-style sauce. This is super simple to make, but takes quite a long time to simmer, so don’t start cooking if you’re already starving. But it’s totally worth the wait!
- 2 aubergines
- 1 red onion
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 1 tin of tomatoes
- 3 tbsp of tomato puree
- 2 stock pots (or cubes)
- Herbs (thyme, sage, rosemary)
- A generous pinch of chilli flakes
Chop the vegetables. Cut aubergines into fairly small cubes so they cook a bit quicker. You don’t need to “sweat” them with salt, as they’ll be thoroughly soaked in stock anyway.
Fry the onions and garlic in a bit of olive oil. Add aubergines and fry for a few minutes. Add a tin of tomatoes, then fill the tin with water and add it to the pan. Follow with tomato paste and stock pots or cubes. At first this looks like a lot of food, but it will condense. Cover with a lid, reduce the heat so that it just about simmers and get on with your life.
After about 30 minutes the aubergines are starting to soften, and the sauce looks a bit runny. Give it a good stir, and go back to doing something else.
After another 20 minutes or so the aubergines are starting to break up and create that lovely bolognese texture. They might start sticking to the bottom of the pan, which is fine. Just give them a good stir to help the texture break up even more. This is a good time to add the herbs and chilli.
This is another 15-20minutes later. The sauce is done when all the liquid has soaked in and the aubergines have broken down into a thick sauce.
Serve with pasta, grated cheese and full bodied red wine. Did I already mention that the rich, savoury flavours are just fantastic?