Stuffed Eggplant

Cook time 1.5 hours
Servings 4

Ingredients

⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil 

4 small eggplants, cut in half lengthways 
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp chilli flakes 
3 sprigs of parsley, finely chopped including stalks 
½ cup fresh breadcrumbs
1 cup of Parmesan, finely grated
300g pork mince
1 egg
Salt and pepper
2 x 400g cans crushed tomatoes
1 cup of risoni

Stuffed Eggplant

Method

With a spoon or a melon baller, very carefully scoop out the flesh out of the eggplants, ensuring not to pierce or damage the skin. Brush the eggplant ‘shells’ with a little of the olive oil and roughly chop the flesh of the eggplant.

In a large pan heat some of the remaining oil and add the eggplant flesh, garlic, chilli and parsley stalks. Cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring regularly until very soft. Remove from the heat and place in a bowl with the breadcrumbs, half the Parmesan, the pork mince, egg, the rest of the parsley and a generous pinch of salt and pepper. With your hands mix everything together.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Divide the meat between the eggplant shells and pack tightly so there are no air bubbles. Spread 1 can of tomato on the base of a baking dish. Season with salt and pepper then nestle the stuffed eggplant in to the sauce. Spoon over the remaining tomatoes, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle over the rest of the cheese.

Bake in the oven at 180°C for 35 minutes until cooked and cheese is golden. 

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and cook the risoni until just al dente. Strain. Remove the eggplant to a serving plate and add the risoni to the baking dish. Toss in the sauce. Serve the stuffed eggplant with generous spoonful of the risoni in sauce, topped with extra Parmesan cheese.