Beef & Eggplant Ragu


Hello Pasta Loving Friends– We were talking about–“If you had to eat just one ethnic cuisine for the rest of your life, what would you pick?”  There were Vietnamese fans (those noodles!) and Chinese (so much variety!), but I was torn between Italian (pasta & gelato, of course) and Mexican (just because that’s what we eat in So Cal).

So for you who love pasta as much as I do, here’s a rich, thick, savory sauce to pour over the top of your favorite angel hair or rigatoni.

And thanks to Suzanne from A Pug in the Kitchen for this recipe — been reading her warm and friendly posts for years…

2 tab. olive oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 pound ground sirloin
salt & freshly ground pepper
1 Chinese, eggplant, cut to small pieces
28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 cup red wine
3 bay leaves
1 tsp. finely minced rosemary
16 oz. pasta
garnish: parmesan romano, grated


Heat the olive oil in a soup pot and then add in the chopped onion.  When it starts to wilt, add the garlic and cook a minute more.

Then add in the beef, chopping it in the pan with a wooden spoon, until it is all crumbled.  Cook until it is browned and then add the eggplant.  Cook 4 minutes more.

Pour in the crushed tomatoes, red wine, bay leaves and rosemary.  Leave it uncovered on a low simmer or 20 to 30 minutes until the flavors are melded.

While that’s simmering, cook your favorite pasta according to the directions on the package.

Drain the pasta and layer it on a large platter, topped with the ragu.  Sprinkle on the parmesan romano and serve it steaming hot.


30 thoughts on “Beef & Eggplant Ragu

          • Job well done! Have the kids slept in bunkbeds before? The first night we put our 2 guys in bunkbeds, I didn’t sleep well all night, waiting for one of them to fall out! I’m stitching on a quilt for our Laurel getting married this summer. Fun (but slow) project! take care Lacey.

            • One night one of them will sleep through and the next night the other will lol. I’m sure it’ll even out, and we’ll get there.
              Yes! The first night was nerve wracking. They seem so little in those regular size beds too.
              I hope you post pictures when you are finished. I’d love to see the wedding quilt.

            • Hey Lacey– I know what you mean about kids sleeping and all the arrangements!! Hope it’s smoothing out by now… and yep, I’ll post a photo of it done– but it will take a while! Happy weekend!! xox

    • Hey Lacey– It’s like regular eggplant, but long, shaped more like a long cucumber. I like it because it’s a little more firm, not as much center part. Really like your new little photo here– cute glasses!! hugs!

  1. Ooooh Rhonda, this sounds delicious. I’m with you – italian is fantastic (especially gelato 🙂 )
    Love both eggplant and ground sirloin. Question: is it ok to use something else instead of the red wine, or leave it out altogether? Super sensitive to that. Anyway, great post! Loving you ~Debbie

  2. This sounds delicious Rhonda. I’m Italian and I love pasta and I grew up with mum’s magnificent “sugo” as she called her sauce. Fortunately she passed it down to me but I always love finding new ways to jazz up pasta. Thanks for this. xo

    • Hi Marica– Yep, we almost never have beef at home, but saw this recipe and just wanted to give it a try. I think it would taste just as good with ground turkey. It’s the eggplant that makes is tick and rich. I love just about anything spread over pasta! Happy weekend there Marcia! xo

      • I think the soil has a lot to do with its success or not. In my old garden eggplant didn’t do well but in our new garden, it thrived . Two years ago they resembled trees and I picked at least 30 or 40 that year. Give it a go, just research first. 😉

        • Whoa! You must be a real farmer Mary!! I’d love to give them a try–What did you do with all those eggplants??! Do you start your garden very soon in the spring?? You’re inspiring me to start planting! xox

          • I made eggplant Parmesan many times and gave it away to family, friends and co- workers. It was the best crop. Unfortunately our growing season is very short. I don’t till the garden until May and start planting in early June. Any earlier there could be frost. Good luck with your garden!🍅

            • That’s just amazing to me Mary– that a garden could spring up so fast! Last summer when I was in Madison visiting our kids, I stopped and talked to a neighbor who has a gorgeous lush flower garden. Was there in February and it’s just dirt and twigs– so amazing that she can summon up such a beautiful garden every year! Well, happy planting ahead– hope it’s another bumper crop! I’ll let you know how much garden we get going here. xox

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