Easy Italian Stuffed Eggplants

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Julie Miguel of daily tiramisu strives to make complicated recipes simple for home cooks and this recipe is no exception. ‘Stuffed’ anything, is often an indicator of fussy, but this recipe for Easy Italian Stuffed Eggplants is no more challenging than pan-frying ground beef. For the most efficient prep, chop and sauté veggies and brown the ground beef while the eggplants roast.

Easy Italian Stuffed Eggplants
 
Author:
Serves: 10 small or 6 large stuffed eggplants
Ingredients
  • 5 small or 2 to 3 large globe eggplants
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
Filling
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large sweet red pepper, finely chopped
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb (500 g) lean ground beef
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • Roasted eggplant flesh
  • ½ cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • 1 cup mozzarella, grated
  • Basil leaves, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Cut each eggplant in half lengthwise. Using a paring knife, score the flesh of the eggplant with deep diagonal cuts, about one inch apart, being careful not to cut through the skin of the eggplant. Place the eggplant halves flesh-side up on a parchment–lined rimmed baking sheet and brush cut surface with olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Roast eggplant halves in a 400˚F oven for 30 to 40 minutes (larger eggplants will take closer to 40 minutes), until the skin of the eggplant looks collapsed and the eggplant flesh gives way easily when poked with a fork. Let cool for 10 minutes; use a spoon to carefully scoop out the flesh into a colander over a sink to drain – reserve eggplant shells on the baking sheet.
  2. While eggplants roast, cool and drain, heat some olive oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, sweet pepper and garlic; cook stirring often until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the ground beef and break apart with a wooden spoon, season with salt and pepper and cook until the beef is cooked through, about 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, and drained eggplant flesh; stir to combine thoroughly. Fold in the Italian breadcrumbs and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese; season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Spoon the filling into the eggplant shells until all of the filling is used up. Distribute the grated mozzarella evenly over the stuffed eggplants and bake in a 400˚F oven until the cheese is melted and slightly golden, about 6 minutes. Serve right away, garnished with freshly torn basil leaves.

 

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