The heat is on and that means eggplant season is in full swing or coming to a farmer’s market near you soon! Eggplant is a great way to stretch your food dollar because it’s meaty, rich texture literally takes on the flavor of whatever you’re cooking. Whether you’re craving Asian, Middle Eastern or Italian, eggplant is extremely versatile. Additionally, by filling your plate with eggplant, you can use less meat. Less meat means you will save calories, fat, cholesterol and of course money.
With a last name like Della Croce, you can imagine that my Sicilian husband loves a tomato-based ragu any day of the week. Today’s Turkey and Eggplant Ragu is one of our favorite ways to enjoy eggplant and reap all of it’s health benefits. (For more nutritional information on eggplant, check out my Baked Stuffed Eggplant with Beef and Pine Nuts post.)
Give this recipe a try and be sure to make extra – it always tastes better on the 2nd and 3rd day!
Your fork is waiting.
Turkey and Eggplant Ragu with Whole Wheat Spaghetti
- 1 medium onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 16 oz ground turkey breast
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp red chili flakes
- 1 eggplant diced
- 32 oz whole peeled tomatoes
- 1/4 c tomato paste + 2 c water
- 14 oz can fire roasted tomatoes diced
- 8 oz whole wheat spaghetti cooked according to package directions
- Fresh basil parsley and parmesan cheese (optional garnish)
- Bring a large pot of salty water to boil and cook pasta according to package directions.
- Saute onion and garlic in a large sauce pot over medium heat. (Tip: Use non-stick cooking spray to save calories. Alternatively, you can saute in olive oil.)
- Once onions and garlic are translucent, add ground turkey breast, salt and chili flakes.
- Use a wooden spoon or a potato masher to break down the turkey breast.
- Cook for 8-10 minutes until turkey breast is nicely browned. Brown = flavor.
- Add eggplant and saute additional 5-6 minutes until softened.
- Pour in whole peeled tomatoes and use potato masher or wooden spoon to gently break down the tomatoes. Alternatively, you can use scissors to break down the tomatoes.
- In a small bowl, whisk together tomato paste and water then add to the pan along with the fire roasted diced tomatoes.
- Bring pot to a boil then turn to low and simmer for 30 minutes. Check for seasoning and add additional salt or pepper if needed.
- Serve over whole wheat spaghetti and garnish with fresh basil, parsley or parmesan cheese.