Welcome to my world - a blend of passion, taste, and old-world traditions.

Benvenuti nel mio mondo - un mischio di passione, gusto e vecchie tradizioni.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Stuffed Eggplants alla Casalese - Melanzane Ripiene

Stuffed eggplants are surely one of the most popular dishes in Italy and especially in my home.

Every region in Italy has developed its own variant. Many regions of Italy are trying to make the traditional character of this dish : Sicily ( Catania eggplant ), Calabria ( melangiani bend ) and Liguria boasts the best stuffed eggplant in the nation.

Freshly picked small (Italian) eggplants

I would like to a boast about the casalese version. (buligname aripiene - dialect casalese). The difference is in the preparation and method of cooking.  For starters, we do not cut the eggplant lengthwise, but skillfully carve them .

Cut off the stems
Carve the raw eggplants with a paring knife carefully removing the interior flesh so as not to break or puncture the small eggplants.

Interior eggplant flesh
Carved eggplants in water

Wash chopped eggplant flesh in a colander under water to remove seeds

Filling consist of sausage meat, eggplant flesh, day-old bread crumbs, eggs, tomato, grated cheese, chopped basil and parsley.

Do not discard the thick crust left over from the day-old artisan loaf .  I just love the crust 
 with charred peppers or a fresh tomato and some extra-virgin olive oil.
Cooking stuffing

Eggplant draining upsidedown

Eggplants being sauteed

Stuffed eggplants after sauteing - extra stuffing - stuff some peppers
Finally, cooked in fresh tomatoes and ready to serve

Vegetarian version - remove the meat.  In fact, in Italy post World War II, we had meat once a week.  This recipe was made meatless.