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April 07, 2011

Italian Stuffed Eggplant

A bottle of red Italian wine such as a Sangiovese will be a very good pairing with the rich tomato sauce in this dish.
You can easily make this dish vegetarian, see below under make it your own.

Prep Time: 20 min.
Cook Time: 15 min.
Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 large eggplants
  • cooking oil for deep frying
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 3 cups tomato puree
  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves
  • ¾ pound fresh gnocchi
  • 3 oz. Fresh mozzarella diced
  • ½ freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ pound cooked ground beef
  • salt and freshly ground pepper

    Instructions:

    Cut each eggplant lengthwise and scoop out the pulp and dice. Immerse the eggplant cases in abundant hot oil and fry them until golden. Drain and set aside. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large pan and saute the pulp until golden. Remove and drain on a paper towel. Add the ground beef, tomato, basil and the eggplant pulp. When heated through turn off the heat. Add the pasta to the sauce. Stir in 1/2 of the mozzarella cheese. Mix well, season with salt and pepper to taste and spoon into the eggplant cases. Top with the Parmesan and remaining Mozzarella cheese. Heat under broiler only long enough to melt cheese. Serve immediately.

    Terri's Tips:

  • Use ground chuck with 20%-25% fat to provide more flavor
  • If you don't have fresh basil substitute by adding 2 tablespoons dried basil
  • For a creamy, rich flavor use fresh mozzarella
  • Parmesan Reggiano will provide the best flavor
  • If you don't have fresh gnochi use dried pasta and cook al dente, drain. Then add to the sauce.

    Cooking Wiser:

  • To decrease the oil content coat eggplant cases with oil and bake until golden.

    Make it your own:
    Make it vegetarian by omitting the beef and adding other vegetables:
    1/4 cup each diced onions, red and yellow peppers or diced carrots, squash and zucchini

  • Posted by terri at April 7, 2011 03:50 AM

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