Jo’s Lamb & Eggplant Ragout

When the family is coming to stay, I like to have a few things organised so I can relax at the end of a long day. We had family over during the school holidays and by the end of a long day with small kids on the go for a whole day, this is a great dish to have on hand for all the grownups. Serve it with a Greek salad and it really is a special meal. Everyone seems to love eggplant and we just don’t use it often enough.

Jo’s Lamb & Eggplant Ragout

2 eggplants
4 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp sweet paprika
2 tsp cumin
3 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground chilli
500g lamb mince
2 tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato paste
150ml water
50g pine nuts
Large handful parsley, chopped
Salt & Pepper

Heat oven to 180 degrees.
Halve the eggplants lengthways and make long slits down them.
Pop onto a baking tray lined with baking paper.
Drizzle with 2 tbsp olive oil and sprinkle with salt & pepper.
Pop into oven for half an hour or till soft.
Allow to cool then remove the skin and chop into 2cm chunks.
Meanwhile heat 2 tbsp olive oil and sauté the chopped onion and crushed garlic till soft.
Add the spices and cook for a minute before adding the lamb, sauté till brown.
Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, pine nuts, parsley, and water. Cook gently for 30 minutes or until the meat is cooked.
Stir the chopped eggplants into the meat sauce and cook for another 15 minutes.
Serve, preferably with gnocchi, or another pasta, adding extra pine nuts and chopped parsley to garnish. A Greek Salad is a great accompaniment.

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