This Vegan Shredded Eggplant Ragu is the perfect healthy way to warm up on a chilly autumn evening.
After discovering the magic that is shredded eggplant (aubergine) when I made this “Pulled Pork” Burger, I was keen to experiment with different ways of using it.
I started thinking about making a ragu-type pasta sauce with shredded eggplant in place of shredded beef brisket…and it worked so well! The meaty flavour and tender yet slightly chewy texture of shredded roasted eggplant is perfect!
I also added some green lentils for protein and extra meatiness – you can either cook your own from scratch or use tinned lentils.
I have several secrets to making a delicious meat-free ragu:
- Start with a base of onion, garlic, celery and carrot (also known as a soffritto) and make sure to fry these until they’re softened and fragrant
- Add some red wine and cook for a couple of minutes until all the wine disappears – this will get rid of any acidic taste and just leaves you with a delicious aroma
- Add some paprika for a little smokiness and dried oregano (or some other woody herb such as dried rosemary or some bay leaves also work)
- Porcini mushrooms add a rich, meaty flavour that’s almost magical
- Sundried tomatoes add extra flavour – bonus points if you throw in a couple of teaspoonfuls of the oil from the jar
- Date syrup (or you can use any other sweetener) adds a little background sweetness
- Balsamic vinegar (or apple cider vinegar) adds a little tang
- Time and patience – you definitely have to leave the sauce to simmer for at least half an hour! This really isn’t a dish to make in hurry on a hungry Tuesday evening at 8pm, save it for a leisurely Sunday afternoon instead
Then all you need to do with this Vegan Shredded Eggplant Ragu is to serve it up over a big pile of your favourite pasta! Or, you could also serve this over some mashed potatoes or mashed sweet potatoes, or even baked sweet potatoes.
I also like to sprinkle over some nutritional yeast for cheesiness and serve it alongside some salad leaves and juicy cherry tomatoes and crunchy, sweet red peppers.
For more delicious vegan pasta recipes, check out my:
- Creamy Pesto Pasta
- Creamy Tomato Sauce Pasta
- Sundried Tomato Pesto Pasta Salad
- Creamy Miso Pasta Sauce
- Pea Pasta Minestrone Soup
- Creamy Pumpkin Chestnut Pasta
- White Bean Mac and Cheese
If you try out this recipe or anything else from my blog, I’d really love to hear any feedback! Please give it a rating, leave a comment, or tag a photo #rhiansrecipes on Instagram! Thank you.
Helpful tools to make this Vegan Shredded Eggplant Ragu:
Vegan Shredded Eggplant Ragu (GF)
- 2 eggplants (aubergine), halved
- 1 tablespoon oil (olive, coconut, rapeseed or vegetable)
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 celery stick, diced
- 1 carrot, peeled and diced
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano (or sub dried rosemary or a couple of bay leaves)
- 60 ml (¼ cup) red wine (ensure vegan/gluten-free if necessary)
- 15 g (0.5oz) dried porcini mushrooms - soaked, rinsed and finely chopped
- 6 sundried tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 230 ml (1 cup) tinned tomatoes
- 1 vegetable stock cube (ensure gluten-free if necessary)
- 1 teaspoon date syrup (or sub any other sweetener)
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar (or sub apple cider vinegar)
- Salt + pepper, to taste
- 400 g (14oz) tin of green lentils, drained and rinsed
- 4 portions pasta (ensure gluten-free if necessary)
- Fresh basil or fresh parsley
- Nutritional yeast
- Lay out the eggplant/aubergine skin-side up on a baking tray (lined with baking paper) and roast in oven for around 30 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit), until soft
- Heat up oil in a pot and add onion, garlic, celery and carrot once hot
- Cook for around 10 minutes, until softened
- Add paprika, dried oregano and red wine
- Cook for a couple of minutes until red wine has been cooked off
- Add porcini mushrooms, sundried tomatoes, tinned tomatoes, stock cube, date syrup, vinegar and salt + pepper and a little extra water if necessary
- Bring to the boil and leave to simmer for at least 30 minutes, or longer if possible
- Once the eggplant is cooked, use a fork to shred the flesh of the eggplant - the shredded flesh should easily fall out of the outer skin
- Add the shredded eggplant to the pan with the sauce, along with the lentils and cook for a little while longer until heated through
- Serve the sauce alongside pasta of choice
- Sprinkle over fresh herbs of choice and nutritional yeast, if liked
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