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Roasted Eggplant Ragu with Polenta

Easy roasted eggplant ragu with tomatoes and roasted peppers over a bed of golden yellow creamy polenta. Rich and meaty but without the actual meat. Legit!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Eggplant Ragu
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 350kcal
Author Florentina

Ingredients

  • 2 eggplants
  • 3 red bell peppers
  • 28 oz can San Marzano Tomatoes (lightly crushed)
  • 8 oz mushroom mix , sliced
  • 1/2 yellow onion -diced
  • 5 cloves garlic -minced
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 cup red wine (optional)
  • 1 pinch sea salt (or to taste)
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil

Polenta

  • 6 cups water
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup cashew milk (optional)
  • 1 leaf bay

Instructions

  • Preheat a cast iron skillet over medium high flame and roast the peppers until charred on all sides. Transfer to a bowl and cover with a lid or towel and allow to cool. 
  • Use a knife to poke the eggplant in a few places to help steam escape while roasting so the eggplants won’t explode in your beautiful kitchen. Please poke them :-)
  • You can use the same skillet you roasted the peppers on to cook the eggplants or broil both the peppers and eggplants until charred. Allow them to charr nicely on all sides then transfer to a bowl until cool enough to handle.
  • Use your hands to remove the peels from both the roasted peppers and eggplants and discard the core. 
  • Transfer to a cutting board and dice the peppers. Finely chop the eggplant and set aside until needed. (Alternatively you can use a food processor if you prefer a smooth texture, we like it more rustic).
  • Preheat a large skillet or pot over medium flame. Add a splash of water and saute the onion until translucent. Stir in the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook another minute or so until you can smell the fragrance.
  • Stir in the smoked paprika, oregano and mushrooms and cook a few minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated. Add in the roasted peppers, eggplant and the San Marzano tomatoes together with the red wine. Give everything a good stir and bring to a simmer. Cover with a lid and cook for 45 minutes on low flame until the sauce has reduced and thickened to your liking. Season to taste with the sea salt.

Meanwhile prepare the polenta:

  • Bring 6 cups of water to a boil and slowly whisk in the cornmeal. Add the bay leaf and a pinch of salt and bring back to a gentle simmer. Partially cover with a lid and cook for about 45 minutes until thickened to your liking making sure to stir often. Remove from flame and stir in the cashew milk. The polenta will continue to thicken as it cools down so don’t worry about it not being quite as thick as you expected. 
  • Divide the polenta between 4 bowls and top with the roasted eggplant ragu. Serve garnished with the fresh basil. 
    Alternatively toss the sauce with rigatoni pasta instead of my polenta.

Nutrition

Calories: 350kcal | Carbohydrates: 69g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 4g | Sodium: 328mg | Potassium: 1660mg | Fiber: 18g | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin A: 3600IU | Vitamin C: 139.8mg | Calcium: 126mg | Iron: 5.4mg