Pork and eggplant bolognese

PersonalPoints™ per serving
Total Time
1 hr 8 min
15 min
53 min
Bolognese, a richly flavored meat sauce that is a staple throughout northern Italy, has as many variations as there are cooks who prepare this time-honored dish. It's comfort food at its finest. Usually made with ground meat, tomato, carrot, celery, onion, garlic, wine, and milk for creamy sweetness, the sauce is cooked very slowly to give the ingredients all the time they need to develop and mellow. Our version utilizes ground pork, red onion, diced eggplant, and canned tomato sauce for added convenience and eliminates the milk. Many bolognese recipes can take over 3 hours on the stove; ours takes just about an hour total from start to finish.


Uncooked ground pork

¼ pound(s), lean

Uncooked red onion(s)

1 medium, finely chopped

Garlic clove(s)

1 medium clove(s), minced

Uncooked eggplant(s)

1 pound(s), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice


¼ cup(s)

White wine

cup(s), dry variety

Canned tomato sauce

8 oz

Fennel seeds

¼ tsp, crushed

Table salt

¼ tsp

Black pepper

tsp, freshly ground

Uncooked rigatoni

4 oz, mini


¼ cup(s), fresh leaves, thinly sliced


  1. Spray a large nonstick skillet with nonstick spray and set over medium-high heat. Add the pork and onion and cook until well browned, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the eggplant and water. Cover the skillet, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook until the eggplant is tender, 12–15 minutes.
  2. Add the wine to the skillet and boil 30 seconds. Stir in the tomato sauce, fennel, salt, and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until slightly thickened, 15–18 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions, omitting the salt.
  4. Stir the basil into the sauce. Drain the pasta, return to the pot, and immediately stir in 1 cup of the sauce. Spoon the pasta mixture into 2 shallow bowls and top with the remaining sauce. Yields scant 2 cups pasta and sauce per serving.