Mimma Tsacook's excellent baby eggplant with marinara sauce
8 baby eggplants, washed, sliced in half lengthwise, insides scooped out, then salted
2 cups of Marinara sauce (if you have it made homemade, all the better)
1 large onion, diced
8 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. Red pepper
1/2 cup of Grated parmesan (or pecorino romano) cheese
Fresh basil and parsley (small handful, chopped finely)
Place the halved salted eggplants in a casserole dish.
Sprinkle with olive oil and cook for about 20 minutes at 350.
In the meantime, cook the scooped eggplant in a small sauté pan with olive oil. (If making with ground beef or lamb, sauté together until browned)
Add onions, cook till translucent
Add minced garlic, sauté till lightly browned
Add marinara sauce and red pepper and sauté for 2-3 minutes till all blended.
Spoon most of the tomato mixture on top of the individual eggplants, save a bit for last step.
Sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley and basil, remaining tomato mixture, and then grated cheese to cover
Cook covered for 20 minutes then remove and cook until the juices are fully incorporated and the eggplant is tender (about 15 more minutes)
Pairs Well With
I had never eaten baby eggplant (Italian eggplant) before I met my mother in law. She made this side dish, and it is so excellent, it can be served as a side dish warm, room temp, or with meat as a main meal. You can also make this a main dish, by adding ground beef or lamb and add to the stuffing below.
Either way, it's Delicious!!!