Charred eggplant adds a smoky, earthy flavor to meat sauce. The technique used here—halving and broiling the eggplant rather than roasting it whole—trims the cooking time to suit a 30-Minute Meal.

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Credit: Photography by Kate Mathis

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Servings:
4
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Ingredients

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Directions

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  • Preheat the broiler to high. Halve the eggplant lengthwise. Brush the cut sides with oil; season with salt and pepper. Place the eggplant, cut-side down, on a baking sheet. Broil until the skin is charred, the flesh is tender, and the eggplant collapses, about 20 minutes. Using tongs, turn the eggplant over. With the top edge of a chef’s knife, scrape the flesh from the skin into a medium bowl. Mash until smooth. Discard the skin.

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  • Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta.

  • For the sauce, in a large deep skillet or Dutch oven, heat 2 tbsp. oil, two turns of the pan, over medium-high. Add the beef and sausage. Cook, stirring often and breaking the meat up with a spoon, until browned, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the garlic, fennel seeds, cumin, and allspice; season. Stir in the tomato paste. Stir until aromatic, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and stock. Reduce heat a bit. Let the sauce simmer at a low bubble.

  • Salt the boiling water and add the pasta. Cook until 1 minute shy of the package directions. Scoop out about 3/4 cup of the pasta cooking water, then drain the pasta.

  • Stir the mashed eggplant into the sauce. Add the pasta, cooking water, about 1 cup cheese, and the parsley. Toss until the pasta is coated and the cheese melts, about 1 minute; season. Serve with more cheese to pass at the table.

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