Eggplant bolognese

45 min.
Eggplant bolognese has everything you want in a tasty, hearty portion of spaghetti as well as a little twist of eggplant and spices. Many people across the globe love to enjoy a bowl of hearty spaghetti with meat sauce and shredded cheese, and with the addition of eggplant and spices in our tasty rendition, this traditional Italian pasta recipe gets a distinctly Arabic twist. A fragrant, flavorful combination of chili flakes, cumin, and coriander serve as our chosen spices for bolognese with a Middle Eastern twist. Try our easy Arabic spaghetti recipe this Ramadan when you and yours are in the mood for a filling, spicy pasta dish.


4 portions




  • Spaghetti:

  • Meat:

  • Assemble the dish:


A great trick to make your chosen spices for bolognese more flavourful is to fry them in a bit of vegetable oil before adding the other ingredients. Doing so enhances the spices’ original flavours and makes them brighter and bolder. Compared to dry roasting them, cooking them in oil for just a few minutes does not alter their flavour but rather makes them even fresher and brighter. The best results are gained from frying whole spices only to ground them afterwards. However, frying ground spices in oil also works wonderfully.

Questions about eggplant bolognese

An Arab eggplant bolognese with spices makes for a wonderful iftar meal. To learn more about the dish, including the best spices for spaghetti bolognese, read our answers to the most frequently asked questions about it below.
What is eggplant bolognese?

An eggplant bolognese is not made only with vegetables. Rather, it is classic bolognese that also has eggplant in it. As such, it also features minced beef, onion, garlic, tomato sauce, and, of course, spaghetti. Our eggplant spaghetti bolognese also features a selection of flavourful spices. Cumin, chilli flakes, and coriander make it a hot, bright, and deep dish with plenty of flavours that you simply must try for one of your iftar meals this Ramadan.

How to make eggplant bolognese?

A hearty bowl of eggplant bolognese is a great way to break the fast. Fortunately, making Arab eggplant bolognese sauce is quick and easy! Prepare it by cooking onion, garlic, and eggplant until they are soft. Add the meat and spices for bolognese and brown the minced beef. Lastly, pour in the creamy tomato sauce and cook until it simmers. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in salted water and add it to the sauce when both are finished. Serve the homemade eggplant bolognese with your favourite cheese grated on top.

What spices to use for eggplant bolognese?

No eggplant bolognese recipe is complete without a great selection of herbs and spices. Ideal eggplant spaghetti bolognese spices include citrussy coriander, spicy chilli flakes, and depth-enhancing cumin. Other good spices for pasta dishes with an Arabic twist include warming ones like cinnamon and cardamon which makes eating it an even more warming experience.

Other recipes you will love

Easy eggplant bolognese with creamy tomato sauce

Arabic-style spaghetti bolognese, also known as allayeh, is a well-known classic throughout the Middle East. Though our Arab spaghetti recipe does not feature all the ingredients allayeh is known for, the two are quite similar. Made with an easy, yet delicious, premade sauce, cooking our eggplant bolognese takes little time and effort. The sweet-tangy tomato sauce has a deliciously creamy consistency and a mild, savoury flavour that serves as a wonderful backdrop for the chilli flakes, cumin, and coriander.

If you happen to be on the lookout for more tasty pasta dishes, we highly recommend our recipes for lamb moussaka pasta bake, one pot lasagne, and pasta bake with white sauce.

Serve a flavourful Arab spaghetti bolognese for iftar

An Arab spaghetti bolognese is perfect as an iftar meal. It is warming, filling, and comforting. An eggplant bolognese is even more filling than a purely meat-based one. The vegetable gives the dish a lot of body; as you cook it, it becomes incredibly tender, soft, and creamy. Though eggplants are quite mild-tasting, they are great at soaking up flavours from bold sauces. This makes it perfect for a spicy Middle Eastern eggplant bolognese, where there is plenty of flavours to enhance.

Enjoy warm Middle Eastern spices for bolognese

One of the best spices for spaghetti bolognese is cumin. This well-loved spice has a wonderful ability to provide any dish with a wonderful depth. Its rich flavour is robust, earthy, and slightly bitter and citrusy. Using cumin balances the sweetness of the alliums and tomatoes and makes it more complex.

Coriander is the perfect companion for cumin, as the flavours go so well together even though they are quite different. Coriander is a bit sweet but still citrusy like cumin, but still savoury, warm, and herbal.

The chilli flakes add taste as well as scent. It turns up the heat considerably with its spiciness and, with the other delicious spices for bolognese, makes it wonderfully warm, fragrant, and aromatic.

Add your own touch

Though this dish already contains some spice, other wonderful spices for bolognese include cinnamon and cardamom. Staples in Middle Eastern cuisine, these warming spices are used in the before-mentioned dish allayeh. The cinnamon serves to make it hot, pungent, and earthy, while the zesty cardamom mirrors the citrusy flavours of the ground coriander.

If you want to use fresh coriander in spaghetti bolognese instead of only ground coriander, we recommend garnishing the finished dish with the leaves for a beautiful colour contrast and added citrusy brightness.

Pine nuts are also used in allayeh eggplant bolognese to give it a bit of crunch. These tasty, small nuts have a soft, nutty flavour with an understated sweetness that serves to mellow the herbs and spices for bolognese slightly. As such, they help ensure a well-rounded eating experience. Try using cinnamon, cardamom, and pine nuts to go all in with this classic Middle Eastern spaghetti dish.

Tasty. Yummy. Good!

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