This sauce happens to be my favourite right now. It’s super duper, crazy delicious! I can’t get enough of the flavours and textures. This sauce is super simple and quick to make which are more reasons why I LOVE it so much. If you are vegetarian, I’d suggest replacing the ground meat with canned organic chickpeas a for a delicious twist.
If you purchase your eggplant and ground meat on sale, this dish can be quite cost-effective. Especially if you use it as a sauce or “topper” for another dish.
Serving over pasta or rice would be good idea, however, I never got that far. I taste tested the dish and then just kept eating and eating it like a bowl of chili! Next time I’ll add chunks of avocado because that would just be heavenly.
To serve as a topper: try adding a spoonful on top of a creamy pureed soup along with some fresh avocado or as a layer of filling for lettuce tacos. You could even roast a head or two of cauliflower (seasoned with some cumin and turmeric perhaps) then mix some of this sauce in just prior to serving.
If you’re not an eggplant lover; don’t turn away so soon. I feel this dish is the perfect re-introduction. The eggplant taste is mellow but somehow works so well with the tomato sauce, sauteed onions and garlic. The flavour combo rocks. I’ts definitely worth a go!
Eggplant Bolognese Sauce
- 1 pound ground meat of choice (I used ground pork)
- 28 0z can of tomatoes, drained + gently pureed
- 5.5 0z can of tomato paste
- 5 garlic cloves, smashed
- 1/2 large sweet onion, chopped
- 1 eggplant, sliced in half and diced
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 cup filtered water (or bone broth)
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp dried dill
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 tsp Himalayan pink salt
- S + P to taste
- Fresh Lemon to serve
- Plug in the Instant Pot and press the “Sauté” function. Add the ground meat of choice to the stainless steel cooking insert and continue to brown meat until no longer pink. Remove the meat and cooking liquid and set aside.
- Add the olive oil and onions to the pot and sauté until they begin to soften and turn translucent. Add a pinch of salt to bring out flavors and release juices.
- Add the eggplant to the pot. Continue sautéing until onions and eggplant are soft.
- Add the smashed garlic and cook for one minute until garlic is fragrant.
- Add the ACV and combine well. Let the vinegar cook off for a minute or two, stirring continuously. Scrape up any brown bits attached to the bottom of the pot. If the food starts to brown too quickly add a small amount or water or more olive oil to prevent burning.
- Add the can of tomato paste to the pot, stir well, and let the tomato paste cook off for a minute or two to soften the flavor.
- Add the can of purred tomatoes, spices, 1 tsp salt, fresh parsley and the ground meat (with any juices on the plate) and stir to combine, followed by 1 cup water (or bone broth).
- Press the “Keep Warm/Cancel” button to stop the sauté mode.
- Stir and then place the lid on the Instant Pot and lock the lid. Twist the steam release handle on the lid to “Sealing”.
- Press the “Manual” button to switch the cooking mode. Use the “+/-” buttons to set the cooking time to 15 minutes. Note that the sauce will be cooking for longer than 15 minutes as it takes time for the pressure cooker to reach desired pressure. The 15 minute timer will start once proper pressure is achieved.
- Once the sauce is done cooking the Instant Pot will automatically switch to the “Keep Warm” mode and will signal done with beeps. Once you hear the beeps, the soup has cooked for the full 15 minutes at full pressure. Let the sauce remain in the “Keep Warm” mode for 10 minutes and then press “Cancel.”
- Twist the steam release handle on the lid to “Venting”. I always put on my oven mitt as a precaution as a small amount of steam will escape from the venting hole.
- Once the pressure has released, carefully open the Instant Pot.
- Test for seasoning. Add more pink salt, fresh cracked pepper and fresh squeezed lemon juice to taste.
- Enjoy with avocado chunks, fresh cracked pepper and fresh lemon wedges or served over pasta, rice or spiralized veggies of choice.