Eggplant Ragu Barilla Heart Pasta with Whipped Ricotta

This dish combines the flavours of eggplant, carrot, tomato, and balsamic vinegar to create a memorable date night dinner.

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Experience an abundance of flavours in this decadent Eggplant Ragu with Whipped Ricotta recipe. This vegetarian pasta dish is comforting for the chilly months. Make it with Rigatoni, Pappardelle or any Barilla pasta shape you have on hand if you don't have Barilla Heart Shaped Love Pasta!

Ingredients 4 Number of Servings

1 box Barilla Love Pasta (or other Barilla pasta of choice)

2 eggplants

1 whole bulb of garlic

1 yellow onion, cut into large 1-inch pieces

2 celery stalks, cut into 2-inch pieces

2 medium carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces of

3 tbsp olive oil

1 pinch red pepper flakes (optional) 

2 tbsp tomato paste 

1 can crushed peeled tomatoes (796ml)

¾ cup red wine

1 ½ tsp dried oregano

1 handful fresh basil, sliced

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 container ricotta (400g)

1 tbsp milk or pasta water

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  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Place eggplants on a baking sheet and poke holes in the flesh with a fork. Cut top of the garlic bulb and cover with foil. Bake in oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until eggplant is tender.

  • In a food processor, chop onion (1-inch pieces), celery (2-inch pieces), and carrots (2-inch pieces).

  • In a large pot over medium heat, add 3 tbsp of olive oil and sauté chopped vegetables. Cook while stirring for 5-6 minutes. Season to taste.

  • Add 2 tbsp tomato paste and a pinch of red pepper flakes (optional) to the vegetables.

  • Deglaze with ¾ cup of red wine and let it reduce.

  • Add the crushed tomatoes and 1 ½ tsp of dried oregano. Season again. Bring to a boil, reduce to low heat, and simmer for about 25-30 minutes.

  • Remove skin from the 2 eggplants and garlic. Finely chop, then add them to the sauce.

  • Incorporate 1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar and a handful of sliced fresh basil. Continue to simmer over low heat.

  • Clean your food processor and then add the ricotta, 1 tbsp of milk or pasta water and season well. Mix until you get a creamy texture and set aside.  

  • Meanwhile, cook the Barilla pasta according to the instructions on the packaging, but 1 minute less.

  • Transfer the cooked pasta into the sauce with ½ cup to 1 cup of pasta water.

  • Serve into bowls. Garnish with whipped ricotta, a drizzle of olive oil and fresh basil.

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