The old-fashioned stuffed eggplants. This is the Sardinian version of the most famous Italian dish.
Very very YUMMY!!!
For the sauce:
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 35-ounce can of San Marzano tomatoes, drained and chopped
- Sea salt
- Pinch of hot pepper
For the eggplants:
- 3 medium, firm eggplants
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1/2 cup white wine
- Pinch of nutmeg
- 1/2 pound ground veal (or substitute other ground meat)
- 1 cup of freshly grated pecorino cheese (if you can find it) or parmigiano reggiano, divided
- 1/2 cup dried bread crumbs
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1. Make the sauce: Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy saucepan.
- Add the garlic and cook over medium heat until lightly browned. (Careful not to let it burn.)
- Add the tomatoes and simmer over medium heat until thickened – about 15 -20 minutes.
- Season with salt and hot pepper to taste.
2. Prepare the eggplants: Peel 1 eggplant and roughly dice. Place in colander.
- Cut the remaining 2 eggplants in half and scoop out the flesh, leaving about 1/4 inch thick shell.
- Roughly chop the additional scooped flesh and add to the colander.
- Sprinkle with salt and allow to drain for 30-45 minutes.
3. In the meantime, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- Submerge the eggplant shells in the boiling water and cook until soft – 3 to 5 minutes.
- You will need to keep poking the shells underwater to submerge them.
- Once soft, remove to drain. Let cool.
4. Rinse the chopped eggplant and squeeze as much water as possible out.
5. In a heavy skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat.
- Add the diced onion and saute until soft, about 5 minutes.
- Add in the chopped eggplant and the wine and simmer over medium heat until the eggplant is tender, about 15 minutes.
- Stir the eggplant occasionally to keep from burning.
6. Once the eggplant is soft, add the ground veal and cook over medium heat until the veal is cooked through and starts to brown slightly.
- Transfer the filling to a bowl and allow to cool slightly.
7. Add in 1/2 cup of the grated cheese, the egg, breadcrumbs, mint, basil and nutmeg.
- Stir until incorporated.
- Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper.
8. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Oil a baking pan large enough to accommodate the eggplant shells.
- Fill the shells with the filling and place in the baking pan.
9. Spoon half of the sauce over the eggplant shells, down the center (see photo above!).
- Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup cheese.
10. Bake the eggplant until browned and bubbling, about 30-40 minutes.
11. Let cool slightly, sprinkle with additional cheese, then serve your stuffed eggplant.
- Pass the extra tomato sauce on the side. Enjoy!