Sunday Meat Sauce with Hidden Vegetables - on a bed of Roasted Eggplant
Serves: 6
  • For the Sauce:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter (may omit and use olive oil)
  • 2 cups chopped onion, about 1 large onion
  • 2 large celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard stems cut into 1/4" thick pieces, about 3/4 - 1 cup
  • 1 pound ground beef chuck
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 42 ounces (1 28 oz. can plus 1 14 oz. can) chopped tomatoes with their juice, pulsed a few times in a food processor or squished with your hands to create finer pieces
  • For the Eggplant:
  • 2 medium Italian eggplant (globe, purple type), or the equivalent in baby eggplant, unpeeled and cut into about 1 inch cubes
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt
  1. Cook the Sauce:
  2. Put oil, butter and chopped onion in a large pot. Turn the heat to medium and cook until onion has become translucent. Stir in the celery, carrot, and Swiss chard stems. Cook for about 3 minutes, until vegetables have softened a bit.
  3. Add the ground beef, a large pinch of salt, and a few grindings of pepper. Cook, crumbling meat with the back of a spoon, until the beef has lost it's raw red color.
  4. Add the milk and let it simmer gently, stirring frequently, until the milk has evaporated. Add the nutmeg and stir. Add the wine and let it simmer until it has evaporated.
  5. Add the tomatoes and stir to mix well. Bring to a boil and turn heat down so that the sauce cooks at the barest simmer. Cook, uncovered, for about 2 1/2 - 3 hours, stirring from time to time to make sure that the sauce does not stick to the bottom of the pot and burn. If the sauce thickens too soon and starts to stick to the pot, add a little water. When done, the fat should have separated from the sauce, very little liquid should remain, and it should be nice and thick. Taste and add salt if necessary. Stir to combine fat and sauce before serving. Serve on a bed of roasted eggplant for a delicious low-carb alternative:
  6. Cook the Eggplant:
  7. Roast the eggplant while the sauce is cooking. Place oven rack in upper middle of oven and preheat oven to 400°.
  8. Place eggplant cubes on a large baking sheet, drizzle with oil, and toss to coat (I use my hands). Sprinkle with salt. Bake, without stirring or turning, for about 30-35 minutes, or until eggplant feel soft when pierced with a fork.
  9. Serve warm with meat sauce and grated Parmesan cheese on top.
Recipe by Preheat to 350˚ at