Recipe: Baked Eggplants with Beef Ragu

Image source: Contributed

Baked Eggplants with Beef and Borlotti Bean Ragu


Serves 4


This is a great way to use up leftover Bolognese sauce, extending it with fresh borloltti beans and using it as a stuffing for eggplants topped with mozzarella. I have given a complete recipe for Bolognese sauce below, but if you ore using leftovers about 2 cups would be enough.


Ingredients

• 4 small eggplants

• l 00ml olive oil

• 500gm beef mince

• 200gm pancetta, diced or minced

• l clove garlic

• l onion, diced

• l carrot, peeled and diced

• l stick celery, diced

• l bay leaf

• 2 tbs tomato paste

• l 25ml red wine

• 125ml milk

• 2 cups cooked borlotti beans

• 200gm mozzarella, grated

• salt and pepper


Method

Saute the onion, garlic, carrot, celery, bay leaf and pancetta in a small amount of the olive oil until soft and lightly coloured.

Add the beef mince and fry until lightly browned. Add the tomato paste and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the red wine and simmer for 2 minutes. Add the milk and reduce the heat to very low. Add the borlotti beans, season with salt and pepper and simmer for l hour.

Cut the eggplants in half lengthwise leaving the stems on. Make 3 cuts lengthwise down the flesh of each half. Brush all over with the remaining oil and place cut side down on a roasting tray. Bake the eggplants in a preheated l 90°C oven for 25-30 minutes or until soft when pressed. Arrange the eggplant halves in a baking dish, cut side up so they are all close together.

Fill each half with a generous amount of the ragu and sprinkle with mozzarella. Bake at l 90°C for 20 minutes or until the cheese is golden.

Serve warm with a simple green salad.

About the Author /

matt@innoosamagazine.com.au

Matt Golinski is a highly regarded chef with a passion for simple, produce-driven cuisine based on seasonal, fresh local ingredients. He is an active member of the Slow Food movement, a champion of artisan producers and a generous mentor to keen young chefs. He is the Food and Culinary Tourism Ambassador for the Gympie region; Ambassador and Advisory Executive Chef for Peppers Noosa; and a festival favourite.

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