This fabulous sauce is unbelievable, hearty, and rich and the eggplant soaks up the flavors around it!
This marinara can be made with ground beef or without, so even though I have beef in mine, I tagged it with the meatless tag because it can be made without! I have been trying to convince the hubby and two eldest kiddos that eggplant can be good. I had a failed soggy fried eggplant sandwich recipe that the kids will never let me live down...ever. I am obsessed with eggplant parmesan and I'm still trying to find the perfect recipe for that. But if I make something with eggplant at this point, I have to make sure it tastes incredible and I did it!
I slow-simmered the sauce and made sure it was seasoned well. It was so delicious and my family didn't realize it was eggplant! Nick assumed it was zucchini, so I definitely was really excited about how I was able to trick them all into eating it and NOT complaining. If you want to hide it a little more discretely, you can easily puree the marinara (without the ground beef) with an immersion blender! I personally loved the texture of the eggplant.
What you need:
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 4 to 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 eggplant, peeled and diced
- 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
- 1 heaping Tbsp. Italian seasoning
- 1 Tbsp. chicken bouillon
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 Tbsp. honey
- 2 lb. ground beef (optional)
- In a large stockpot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and eggplant. Cook until eggplant is softened.
- If you are also doing ground beef, remove eggplant from stockpot and crumble and cook ground beef until browned. Then add eggplant and garlic back to the pot. If not, skip to the next step.
- Add tomatoes, Italian seasoning, bouillon, salt, pepper, and honey.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer for 45 minutes to an hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
- Adjust seasoning, as needed, and serve over the top of pasta! We topped ours with a little parm-reggiano.
Original Fantastical Recipe
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