lamb and aubergine ragu


this aubergine dish was originally intended as a stuffing for a marrow (i succumbed and bought another, my second ever!) but didn’t make it that far – a quicker meal was needed and the sweet spicy north african flavours seemed forgiving enough to be paired with pasta – a 15 minute wait while the rigatti cooked was all i could manage.

lamb and aubergine ragu (serves 6)

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 red onions, thinly sliced

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon coriander

½ teaspoon cumin

1 large clove garlic, crushed

500g lamb mince

2 aubergines, diced into 2cm cubes

1 bay leaf

1 tablespoon fresh oregano

1 400g tin of chopped tomatoes

1 tablespoon tomato puree

fresh basil

heat the olive oil and fry the onions for 5 minutes, until they begin to soften. add the spices and garlic and fry until you start to smell the garlic. add the lamb mince and cook until it has browned all over. add the aubergine , bay leaf and oregano to the mince and cook, with the lid on, for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. add the chopped tomatoes and tomato puree and leave to simmer for around one hour. remove the bay leaf and stir in a handful of basil.

serve with de cecco conchiglioni rigatti, garlic bread and a green salad.