Aubergines are one of my favourite vegetables, hands down! As a kid, I remember not wanting to have anything to do with them. I was such a fussy child. I had no interest in eating some weird dark fallic looking vegetable.
But boy, how things have changed! I suppose my palette developed when I had my first bite of parmigaina alle melanzane – aubergine parmigiana. When I was younger all I ever wanted to eat was spaghetti al pomodoro (spaghetti with tomato sauce) and I was fooled to believe it was a special type of lasagna (which it kind of is, minus the pasta). After my first plateful I just wanted more! I had fully entered the world of the aubergine. Over the years, I have enjoyed aubergine in many forms; roasted, marinated & grilled, battered and fried, eaten in salads, eaten as part of the main etc etc.
Recently, I came across this amazing Puglian recipe for stuffed aubergines. I know that it doesn’t sound very glamorous, but that’s not what’s important here. It’s the flavour combinations that make it super special. Italians salty sausage, with smoked mozzarella (scamorza) mixed in with the soft flesh of the aubergine, baked in sweet tomato sauce. Are you guys ready?? Here is a simple step recipe for you guys to try!
[ingredients title=”Ingredients – 4 people”]
- 4 aubergines
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 3 Italian sausages, skinned and meat crumbled.
- 400ml tomato sauce
- 200g smoked scamorza, diced
- 50g parmesan, grated
- 300ml bechamel
- Basil leaves, for garnish
- Pre heat oven to 180c
- Next, prepare the aubergines. Halve them, add them to a pan with boiling salted water. Cook for 5-10 mins and lift out the water.
- Carefully scoop out most of the flesh of the aubergine, ensuring not to tear the skin. We will need to stuff them again later.
- Drizzle olive oil to a heated pan. Gently cook the garlic on a low heat, without browning
- Add the aubergine flesh and cook together for 5 minutes. Remove off the heat.
- In a separate pan, drizzle a little more olive oil, add the onion and soften them gently.
- Add the crumbled sausage meat and brown the meat.
- Pour in half of the tomato sauce and cook the mixture gently for another 5 minutes. Remove off the heat.
- Add all the ingredients into a bowl, apart from the remaining tomato sauce and béchamel. Mix all the ingredients well together
- Stuff the aubergines skins and place them in a greased baking dish/tray.
- Coat each stuffed aubergine half with tomato sauce and béchamel; add a basil leaf on top.
- Bake in the oven for 20 mins,.
- Serve warm with a fresh green salad or some veggies.