Friday, September 14, 2012

Beef & Eggplant Ragu it's finally Friday!  It seemed to take a long time for it to finally arrive.  Today was also a good day for another reason too.  I won the lottery...(of sorts)...but I bet not at all what you are thinking.  I won the EGGPLANT LOTTERY!  The coworker that brought me some eggplants from his garden (that I enthusiastically transformed into Moussaka a couple of weeks ago) brought me a few more today!  On the outside I was politely saying "thank you"...but on the inside I was screaming...YESSSSSSSSS!  While eggplants might not be exciting news to some of was absolutely fabulous news for me!  As I've said before...I could eat it every day.  I originally was going to make "pasta" with meat sauce for dinner...but with my sudden windfall, I decided to make Beef & Eggplant Ragu (ground beef, sauteed diced eggplant, a splash of red wine and a small amount of the pasta sauce leftover from last night's dinner) that I simmered uncovered to keep it thick and rich tasting, not "saucy".

There is no official recipe for this -- I just put it together quickly.  I browned a pound of ground beef, drained it and set aside in a bowl.  I then added some olive oil to my pan and added the diced eggplant, stirring and sauteing a bit, then adding a splash of water, a sprinkle of sea salt and covering to continue cooking until tender and delicate (about 5-10 minutes).  Once the eggplant was tender, I added the cooked beef back to the pot and then added a few tablespoons of red wine to the mixture and cooked it uncovered, stirring occasionally, until most of the alcohol had cooked off and it was simply the wine flavor left behind.  I poured the remaining pasta sauce (about 1 to 1-1/2 cups) into the beef and eggplant mixture, and let it simmer on low, uncovered for about 20 minutes or so, until it was a rich, thick and meaty ragu (the Italians make ragu; the French make ragout, both pronounced the same).  I served it over zucchini noodles (made with my Spirelli).  It was delicious and had a rich, hearty, earthy flavor.  I topped it with Parmigiano Reggiano and some fresh basil.  There are a couple of pics below for you to see.  Enjoy!

When most look at this, they see beef, eggplants and sauce...
But when I look at it, I see Beef & Eggplant Ragu!

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