Rigatoni with Beef & Eggplant Ragu

Rigatoni with Beef & Eggplant Ragu

2 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, April/May 2006

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.

Ingredients 4 servings

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  • 8 ounces whole-wheat rigatoni, rotini or penne
  • 8 ounces 92%-lean ground beef
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seed
  • 3 cups diced eggplant, (about ½ 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
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 teaspoons pine nuts, toasted (see Tip)
  • ½ cup crumbled feta, (optional)


  • Active

  • Ready In

  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.
  • Make Ahead Tip: Prepare the sauce (Step 2); cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
  • 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.

Nutrition information

  • Per serving: 399 calories; 7 g fat(1 g sat); 10 g fiber; 57 g carbohydrates; 22 g protein; 57 mcg folate; 30 mg cholesterol; 4 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 1,148 IU vitamin A; 18 mg vitamin C; 64 mg calcium; 4 mg iron; 345 mg sodium; 792 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (30% daily value), Vitamin A (23% dv), Iron (22% dv)
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 4
  • Exchanges: 3 starch, 2 vegetable, 2 lean meat, 1 fat

Reviews 2

September 07, 2010
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By: EatingWell User
This is a good recipe. I didn't add the wine and I brined the eggplant for a half hour and simmered it along with all the rest of the ingredients for a good hour. I'm not sure what the pine nuts add...
February 14, 2010
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By: EatingWell User
I needed to make some changes to this recipe to make it work. The eggplant needs to cook much longer than the recipe says and it should be salted and drained before its added so its not so bitter. Also, I would add a large onion next time and saute it before adding the beef. We used lean cut freshly ground steak which made all the difference and I also added basil.
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