A tasty meatless option from Michael Symon!
1 large Eggplant (peeled, large dice)
2 tablespoons olive oil (plus more to garnish)
1 cup onion (peeled, minced)
1/2 cup carrots (peeled, minced)
1/2 cup celery (minced)
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/3 cup tomato paste
1 cup whole milk
1 cup white wine
1/2 bunch fresh thyme
1/2 bunch fresh oregano
1 teaspoon fresh nutmeg (finely grated)
1 pound tagliatelle
fresh basil (roughly chopped, to serve)
Parmigiano-Reggiano (freshly grated, to serve)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
Line a baking sheet or large plate with paper towels and set aside.
Season the eggplant with salt and place in a colander. Allow to sit for at least 20 minutes. Remove to the prepared baking sheet and pat eggplant dry.
In a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, warm olive oil. Add the eggplant, in batches if necessary, and saute until golden brown, about 6-8 minutes. Remove the eggplant to a plate and set aside. Add the onion, carrots, and celery, season with salt, and stir to combine. Saute until vegetables begin to soften, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in the sugar, tomato paste, and add the eggplant back to the Dutch oven and cook for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the milk and wine and season with pepper.
Tie the thyme and oregano together with butcher’s twine and add to the Dutch oven along with the nutmeg. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until nearly all the liquid has been absorbed and vegetables are completely soft, about 1 hour. Lightly mash some of the mixture and remove and discard herb bundle.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the pasta. Cook 1 minute less than the package directions instruct. Remove the cooked pasta along with the 1/4 cup of the pasta water to the eggplant mixture and stir to combine. Stir in the basil and desired amount of Parmigiano-Reggiano. Top with more Parmigiano-Reggiano and a drizzle of olive oil to serve.
Tip: Store any leftover bolognese in a zip-top bag and freeze for up to 1 month!