Turkey Bolognese with Roasted Eggplant

Now that the weather is getting cooler I’m craving some warm comfort food.  This hearty sauce, full of protein and veggies, hits the spot!  Use whole wheat pasta for a healthier version and feel free to substitute the turkey with ground beef, chicken or bison.

turkey-bolognese-eggplant

Turkey Bolognese with Roasted Eggplant

Serves 4

Ingredients:

olive oil

1 large eggplant

2 medium size onions, diced small

2 celery stalks, diced small

1 carrot, shredded

4-5 garlic cloves, sliced thin

1 six-ounce can tomato paste

1 pound ground turkey (preferably dark meat)

salt and pepper

2 28-ounce cans of tomatoes and their juices

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 bay leave

2 thyme sprigs

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

3/4 cup basil leaves, chopped (plus some whole leaves to garnish with)

1 pound pasta of your choice

Grated parmesan cheese

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cut off stem and ends of eggplants and then cut the eggplant lengthwise into approximately 1/2-inch thick slices.  Then cut into 1/2-inch bites.  Place in a large roasting pan single file.

Salt eggplant and drizzle with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

Roast for 20-30 minutes until soft all over and browned in some spots.

While eggplant is roasting, heat up a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sauté the onions, celery, carrot, and garlic until softened- about 8-10 minutes.

Stir in tomato paste and cook for 1 minute.

Increase heat to medium-high and add the ground turkey, stirring to mix and break up the meat, and cook until starting to brown and no longer pink.  Season mixture with salt and pepper.

Add canned tomatoes and their liquid, red pepper flakes, bay leaf, thyme sprigs and balsamic vinegar.  Break up tomatoes with spoon, bring sauce to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes partially covering the saucepan with cover.

Gently stir in chopped basil and eggplant and simmer while cooking your pasta.

Prepare pasta according to package directions.

Toss sauce with pasta, divide into bowls and garnish with a couple of fresh basil leaves.

Serve pasta with parmesan cheese and fresh black pepper.

bolognese

 

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