I love this quick, flavorful and zero-waste recipe for eggplant stuffed with ground beef, tomato sauce and finished off under the broiler with mozzarella cheese. It’s a great, healthy, diabetic friendly recipe that won’t have you missing the carbs.
Melanzane Ripiene | Stuffed Eggplant
- 2 large eggplants
- 1 lb ground beef
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup tomato puree
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley, separated
- 1 teaspoon salt + more to for salting eggplant
- Red Pepper flakes to taste
- Shredded mozzarella to cover eggplant.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Cut the ends of the eggplant and discard. Half the eggplant lengthwise, and use a spoon to remove the flesh of the eggplant, leaving about a 1/2 to 1 inch thick border. Place the eggplants on a baking sheet and salt generously to remove moisture. Cut the flesh of the eggplant into small, rough chunks (about 1/2 inch wide).
- In a large frying pan, heat the extra virgin olive oil over medium heat and add in red pepper flakes to taste. Heat for about a minute. Add the ground beef and cook until browned. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Add the flesh of the eggplant to the frying pan and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add one teaspoon salt and toss. Return the beef to the pan and add the tomato purée, breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese and mix together again, creating a paste. Note that the amount of sauce and breadcrumbs is relative to the size of the eggplant – if your mixture is not quite a paste, you can add additional sauce to loosen it or breadcrumbs to dry it out. Turn off the heat and add half of the parsley. Mix to combine.
- Pat the whole eggplants dry with a paper towel and fill the cavities with eggplant mixture. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until eggplants are soft and tender (this will depend on the size).
- Remove from oven and top with as much mozzarella cheese as desired. Turn on the broiler and return to the oven until cheese has melted and browned, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from oven and top with fresh parsley.