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.


  1. Found your site today, BUT, cannot figure the finale to the stuffed eggplant (which looks gorgeous.) Can you elaborate? I would like to cook it on Friday. Thanks.

  2. Thank you for stopping and commenting.
    Make a simple marinara sauce (1/4 cup olive oil, 1 garlic clove, 4 or 5 fresh tomatoes or 1 large canned tomatoe, fresh parsley and basil, salt and black pepper - simmer for 15 minutes). Add stuffed sauteed eggplants and continue to simmer for 1/2 hour or so.

  3. Thanks! I had faith, so I bought eggplants this afternoon. I bought big ones though because I think I will not enjoy working with the small ones I saw at the grocer's. I plan to slice them in half-well, maybe. I'll see how it goes.

  4. Hi Elisa. Party rescheduled, making this th 29th. But one more quick question: do you eat the eggplant skins?
    Also making the cornbread pizza.
    Thank you.

  5. Of course, you eat the eggplant skins. On the other hand, my son does not like the taste of the skins. So he eats just the stuffing.

  6. Hi. I made this dish last week and it was great although a bit labor intensive. Still, it was received well, and my husband (a huge fan of eggplant) ate the leftovers last night. Many thanks for the recipe.

  7. Yes, it is labor intensive. Glad you enjoyed the recipe.

  8. Just recently became a big eggplant fan. How much sausage, bread, eggs - etc. do you use in the stuffing?

  9. Anonymous - I honestly do not know exactly. Start with 1lb. of sausage meat, 2 cups of shredded bread or bread crumbs, 1 cup of cheese and 2 to 3 eggs. Consistency of filling should be moist. If too much filling, stuff some peppers.