Aubergine bolognese

Aubergine bolognese

Aubergine bolognese has everything you want in a tasty, hearty portion of spaghetti as well as a little twist of aubergine 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 aubergine and spices in our tasty rendition, this traditional Italian pasta recipe gets a distinctly Arabic twist. A fragrant, flavourful combination of chilli 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.


  • Cook the spaghetti in salted water in a large saucepan following the instructions on the package.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the meat sauce. For that, finely dice the onion, crush the garlic cloves and cut the aubergine into small cubes.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large, non-stick frying pan. Add the onion, the garlic and the aubergine and cook for 6-8 minutes until soft. Add minced meat and spices and cook until the meat has browned.
  • Pour in tomato sauce and stir until it simmers.
  • Add the spaghetti to the pan and stir until all of it is coated in sauce. Then it will be ready to serve!

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 aubergine bolognese

An Arab aubergine 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 aubergine bolognese?
An aubergine bolognese is not made only with vegetables. Rather, it is classic bolognese that also has aubergine in it. As such, it also features minced beef, onion, garlic, tomato sauce, and, of course, spaghetti. Our aubergine 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 aubergine bolognese?
A hearty bowl of aubergine bolognese is a great way to break the fast. Fortunately, making Arab aubergine bolognese sauce is quick and easy! Prepare it by cooking onion, garlic, and aubergine 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 aubergine bolognese with your favourite cheese grated on top.
What spices to use for aubergine bolognese?
No aubergine bolognese recipe is complete without a great selection of herbs and spices. Ideal aubergine 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.


Tomato sauce with cream
500 ml
500 g
Olive oil
1 tbsp
Garlic cloves
Beef mince (low fat)
500 g
1 tsp
Ground coriander
1 tsp
Chilli flakes
1 tsp

Easy aubergine 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 aubergine 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 lasagna, 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 aubergine 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 aubergines are quite mild-tasting, they are great at soaking up flavours from bold sauces. This makes it perfect for a spicy Middle Eastern aubergine bolognese, where there are 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 onion, garlic 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 savoury with sweet tones but also 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 aubergine 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.