Malangiana Chijna | Italian Stuffed Eggplant
Watch the Pasta Grammar video where we make this recipe here:
For this recipe, you will need:
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, peeled
- 12 oz. (350g) tomato puree
- 3-4 leaves fresh basil
- 1 large eggplant
- 3 1/2 oz. (100g) fresh breadcrumbs
- 1 3/4 oz. (50g) grated pecorino cheese
- 1 3/4 oz. (50g) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, pus extra for topping
- 1 3/4 oz. (50g) sharp provolone, chopped
- 1 oz. (25g) soppressata (spicy salami)
- 1 large egg
- Dry breadcrumbs to taste
- Fresh black pepper
- All-purpose flour for battering
- Vegetable oil for frying
Begin by preparing a simple tomato sauce. In a small saucepan, combine the olive oil, garlic, tomato puree, fresh basil, a generous pinch of salt, and 6 oz. (175ml) of water. Bring to a simmer and cook, partially covered, for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and set aside for later.
Meanwhile, put a large pot of water on to boil. Cut the eggplant in half, lengthwise, and use a paring knife to carve most of the meat out, leaving enough to maintain the shell structure. Save the eggplant meat and one of the skin shells.
When the water comes to a boil, salt it generously and add the eggplant shell. Boil for 3 minutes, then remove and set aside. Chop the eggplant meat into roughly 1-inch chunks and boil these for 5 minutes. Drain and allow to cool. When the eggplant meat is cool to the touch, squeeze out the excess water and combine with the fresh breadcrumbs, cheeses, soppressata, egg, and a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly.
If you find that your mixture is sticky and/or wet, add enough dry breadcrumbs to achieve a solid yet tacky consistency.
Pack the stuffing mixture into the boiled eggplant shell. Fill a small plate with all-purpose flour and thoroughly dust the eggplant in it so that it is completely coated in a thin layer.
Preheat an oven to 395 degrees F (200 C).
Fill a deep pan with 2 inches of vegetable oil and bring up to a high temperature. To check the temperature, drop a breadcrumb into the oil. If it begins to bubble immediately, the oil is ready to fry.
Carefully place the eggplant into the oil. Fry, turning occasionally, until the stuffing turns golden. Remove to a paper towel to drain.
Spread a few spoonfuls of the tomato sauce in the bottom of a small casserole or meatloaf dish. Place the eggplant on top and spoon the rest of the sauce over it. Top with grated Parmigiano cheese and bake for 30 minutes or until the cheese forms a crispy crust on top.
Serve warm. Buon appetito!