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I love a good shortcut. But I really cherish the spectacular taste of real, honest to goodness, just gathered the ingredients at the outdoor market food. Thanks to my co-worker, the wonderful cook, Sofia Di Guglielmo, we can all savour Stuffed Sicilian Eggplant.

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Begin by preparing this Simple Tomato Sauce. You will have more sauce than you need for this recipe. You can freeze the rest or enjoy it on pasta, chicken or fish.

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Simple Tomato Sauce

  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 c chopped basil
  • 1/2 c chopped parsley
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1/4 c white wine
  • 1 28 oz can tomatoes – puréed
  • 1 24 oz jar Italian tomato sauce
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the olive oil. Cook onion and garlic on medium low for several minutes to soften, then add wine, tomatoes and tomato sauce. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 75 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the basil and parsley, and cook 15 more minutes.

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Vegetarian alternative: Here is the Vegetable Stuffed Sicilian Eggplant Print Ready Recip

Italian Sausage Stuffed Sicilian Eggplant 
  • 9 Sicilian eggplant
  • 4 Italian sausages, meat removed from the casing (mild or spicy)
  • 2 slices whole wheat bread, cubed
  • 4 oz grated asiago
  • 4 oz grated mozzarella – 2 oz for stuffing, 2 oz for topping
  • 3 oz grated parmesan
  • 2 oz diced bocconcini
  • 1 egg
  • 3 c simple tomato sauce – 1/2 cup for stuffing, 1 cup to coat bottom of baking dish, 1 1/2 cups for topping
  • 1/4 – 3/4 c homemade breadcrumbs – judge how much you need to get a good semi-solid feel to the stuffing
  • 1/4 c chopped basil
  • 1/2 c chopped parsley
  • 4 oz chopped baby spinach
  • bell peppers, large mushrooms and/or zucchini to accomodate extra stuffing

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Trim and halve the eggplant: Wash the eggplant. Remove the dried leaves at the stem end and the bottom brown spot. Careful, they may be prickly. Slice off the stem, then slice in half from top to bottom. Score the central flesh with a knife to make it easier to scoop-out with a spoon. Maintain half an inch thickness as a shell to hold the stuffing. Chop the scooped-out flesh to add to the stuffing, keeping it in a separate bowl. See the video below for a demonstration.

Blanching the eggplant: Bring a large pot of water to boil. Blanch the eggplant shells for 4 minutes after the water comes back to a boil. Rotate them carefully as they are fragile. Remove them with a large strainer or a slotted spoon. Rinse them in cold water to halt the cooking process. Drain all the water off, drying them with a paper towel. Blanch the chopped eggplant flesh for 4 minutes. Strain it well, pressing slightly. The eggplant shells and flesh can be frozen at this stage.

Prepare the stuffing: Remove the sausage meat from the casing. Chop the meat a little. Cook the meat in a frying pan, adding some salt, pepper, parsley and basil. When cooked, mix in half the parmesan. In a large bowl, combine cubed bread, 1/2 cup of tomato sauce, 2 ounces of mozzarella, asiago, the rest of the parmesan, bocconcini, 1/4 cup of breadcrumbs, 1 egg, the blanched eggplant pulp, salt, pepper and the spinach. Mix to combine all the ingredients. Add more breadcrumbs as needed for a semi-firm stuffing. Stuff the shells, squeezing them slightly after filling to make an oval shape. Top each stuffed eggplant with a little tomato sauce and mozzarella. Bake, covered at 350F for 30-40 minutes. Serves 8 – 10. Can be frozen.

If there is extra stuffing, use it to fill halved bell peppers, mushroom caps or hollowed-out zucchini. They will require an additional 15 minutes in the oven.

Italian Sausage Stuffed Sicilian Eggplant Print Ready Recipe

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Final notes:
  • Birri at Jean Talon Marketis the place to go for Sicilian eggplantunless you are inclined to pick your own at Ferme Sauriol. The Italian sausage is from Capitol.
  • Happy New Year to everyone celebrating Rosh Hashanah! Find out how to Make a Better Brisket for a traditional holiday meal.
  • A big thank you to Sofia for being so generous and spreading her cooking knowledge. Thank you to Anat, Heather, Sheryl, Kate, Aisha and Susie for assisting and enjoying our inaugural Richardson Jittery Cooking Class Pot Luck Dinner Party. Happy 1st anniversary Kate! There is a Stuffed Sicilian Eggplant dinner in the refrigerator at work just for you!
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