Stuffed Eggplant

Tonight as usual I needed something for diner. Stopped by the grocery and saw some nice looking eggplant. It was saying eat me and was on sale, so I bought one.

But, what to do with it? I really wanted eggplant parmesan but I didn’t want to bread and fry so I decided to stuff and bake it.

This recipe is for 2 main servings and took about 2 hours to finish, I was the only one home so it didn’t matter. Just give yourself some some time and have fun with it.

Started with 1 eggplant washed and cut in half. Then cut it all around to about 3/8″ of the edge being care full to not go all the way thru. Take your time and cut cross hair patterns to remove the pulp. I used a grapefruit spoon to dig it out (use whatever you have).

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Next the filling:

I browned a piece of hot Italian sausage with the casing removed. Then added 1/4 cup onion and 1 clove chopped garlic to brown in the renderings. Within a few minutes I put the chopped eggplant pulp in the pan added 1 tblsp. butter and reduced (about 5 minutes).

It reduced more than I thought so I added 3 tablespoons of ricotta cheese and 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs. This is the fun part use whatever you have to stuff just make sure it’s savory (add salt along the way to each eggplant and filling).

Then I added some tomato paste (1 tblsp.) and more butter, mix well and season with salt n pepper. I also added some parsley flakes and chopped celery leaves (remember it’s a substitute for fresh parsley).

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Stuff eggplant and add 1/2″ of hot water to the pan. Place in a 350 degree (F) oven for 20 minutes.  I then added another 1/2 cup fresh buttered breadcrumbs and topped with shredded mozzarella and cheddar.

I went out on a limb adding the cheddar and it worked for me. Sprinkle any leftover crumbs  you have on top and bake another 20 minutes or until golden. Try not to let the water get below 1/2″ add hot water if needed.

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To finish I hit it with a little fresh grated parm and a drizzle of olive oil. It was something different for a change and could make a side dish for 4 (cut each in half).

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