Rigatoni with Beef & Eggplant Ragu

Eggplant gives this pasta sauce a rich meatiness that complements the ground beef. Plus the eggplant allows us to use a little less beef but still have a generous and hearty serving.

Recipe from EatingWell
Ingredients
  • 8 ounces whole-wheat rigatoni, rotini or penne
  • 8 ounces 92%-lean ground beef
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
  • 3 cups diced eggplant, (about 1/2 medium)
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 8 ounce cans no-salt-added tomato sauce
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano, or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 teaspoons pine nuts, toasted (see Tip)
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta, (optional)
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Directions
1. 
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta until tender, 8 to 10 minutes or according to package directions.
2. 
Meanwhile, cook beef, garlic and fennel seeds in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until the beef is browned, about 3 minutes. Add eggplant and oil; cook, stirring occasionally, until the eggplant browns, about 5 minutes. Add tomato sauce and wine; cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens, about 10 minutes. Stir in oregano, salt and pepper.
3. 
Drain the pasta; serve topped with the sauce and sprinkled with pine nuts and feta, if using.
Tips:
1. 
Tip: To toast pine nuts, cook in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes.
2. 
MAKE AHEAD TIP: Prepare the sauce (Step 2); cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

nutrition information

Per Serving: cal. (kcal) 399, Fat, total (g) 7, chol. (mg) 30, sat. fat (g) 1, carb. (g) 57, Monosaturated fat (g) 3, fiber (g) 11, pro. (g) 22, vit. A (IU) 1214.76, vit. C (mg) 17.71, sodium (mg) 345, Potassium (mg) 788, iron (mg) 3.6, Vegetables () 2, Starch () 3, Lean Meat () 2, Fat () 1, Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet
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