One of my aunt Kathy’s favourite dishes is Eggplant Parmesan (and believe me, that recipe will appear here soon) and now that they live near by, perfecting my Eggplant Parmesan has nestled into my brain. At the market yesterday I kept thinking about doing individual eggplant parmesan for dinner to test out a new eggplant trick. But I just moved, and much of our kitchen ware is in a crate in the ocean making its way to California, so I didn’t have the actual dishes for individual eggplant parmesan.
Then it occurred to me that I could just as easily use the eggplant to stuff it with parmesan. Then I thought, how boring. I had heard of beef and sausage stuffed zucchini, and thought I would add a little meat to the mix as well. And sausages would be great, because they come pre-seasoned so I wouldn’t need to add any, I could get the flavour punch from them! It turned out delicious. I cannot even begin to express how great this dinner is, and it is so filling.
I hope you like it, and try it, and play around with the filling meats or maybe try out the eggplant stuffed with parmesan (which I worried would be too much like soup). Enjoy!
Stuffed Eggplant (Serves 2)
- 1 whole eggplant, on the large side
- 4 pork sausages (you can use your favourite sausage if you like, but if you choose ground turkey/pork/beef then you need to add some flavour, I recommend basil, oregano, sage, ground cumin)
- 1/2 cup pasta sauce, I used my red pepper tomato sauce
- 6 basil leaves
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- (if desired) balsamic syrup/reduction
Preheat oven to 350F
Cut the raw eggplant in half and scoop out the middle with a spoon, leaving enough to keep the shape of the eggplant (about 1/2 inch of flesh)
Place eggplant halves onto a foil-lined baking tray
Roughly chop the removed eggplant into bite size pieces.
Cook eggplant insides: Put the scooped-out of the eggplant into a pot of simmering water. Cook for 12 minutes (while doing other steps) and then drain and set aside.
Put half tbsp olive oil in each eggplant half and rub around the inside. Gently salt and pepper.
Cook the sausage: Slit the sausage casing and remove the inside of the sausage. Mash the sausages together and cook in a lightly oiled frying pan on medium heat. Be sure that as they cook you break the sausages to small pieces and crumbles with a spatula. Once cooked, turn the pan off but do not remove.
Combine the cooked eggplant with the sausage and add the pasta sauce, some basil and parmesan cheese.
Scoop into the eggplant halves and place in the oven. Cook for 45 minutes.
Be warned that moving the cooked eggplant to your plates can require the help of a spatula.
Top with fresh basil and (if you like) balsamic syrup
Eat and enjoy!