This is a favourite recipe of mine. The lamb mince adds so much flavour to the sauce and I looove the combination of the creamy, salty fetta with the eggplant, parsley and spicy chilli. To be honest, I usually make this recipe sans pasta and just top the sauce with the fetta, parsley, extra chilli and dive in. It’s so moreish and ticks all the boxes for a quick mid-week dinner. I love the way the eggplant soaks up all the sauce and turns silky without having to cook it in a ton of oil. Go easy on the chilli if you’re making this for kids, but you should definitely give this one a try!
What you’ll need:
2 tbs olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
½ tsp dried chilli flakes
500g lamb mince
2 x 400g cans cherry tomatoes (or whole tomatoes that have been chopped)
1 cup (250ml) water
1 tsp salt
1 large eggplant, peeled & cut into rough 4cm chunks
300g orecchiette pasta
60g Persian fetta, crumbled
6 sprigs continental parsley, chopped, to serve
sea salt & cracked black pepper
What to do:
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook the onion for 5 minutes until soft. Add the garlic and chilli flakes and cook for a further 1 minute until fragrant. Increase the heat and add the lamb mince. Cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until nicely browned. Add the tomatoes, wash the cans out with the water and add it to the saucepan. Stir through the salt, and season with pepper. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover with a lid and simmer gently for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the eggplant and stir to combine. Cover and cook for a further 15-20 minutes, or until the eggplant is soft and silky, and the sauce has thickened.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large saucepan of salted boiling water according to packet instructions. Reserve ⅓ cup of pasta water, then drain and gently mix through the sauce, trying not to break up the eggplant, adding the reserved pasta water to loosen. Taste to check for seasoning and adjust with more salt if needed.
Top with fetta, parsley and extra black pepper. Serves 4.