• Fill baked eggplants with ricotta, passata and herbs then bake again. (Jono Fleming)Source: Jono Fleming

Eggplant is so delicious and creamy when baked, so why stop at one round? Fill the vegetable with ricotta, passata and herbs then bake again.

Serves
4

Preparation

30min

Cooking

50min

Skill level

Mid
By
Average: 2.9 (439 votes)
Yum

Ingredients

  • 3-4 small eggplant, halved lengthways
  • 125 ml (½ cup) extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra, for drizzling
  • sea salt flakes, to taste
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, unpeeled, bashed with a knife
  • small handful parsley stalks, finely chopped
  • small handful basil leaves, coarsely chopped, plus extra leaves, to serve
  • 400 g passata or chopped tomatoes
  • 250 g full cream ricotta
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 60 g freshly grated parmesan
  • 50 g coarse stale sourdough crumbs
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • ricotta salata or pecorino, to serve 

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Line an oven dish with baking paper.

2. Using a small, sharp knife, carefully remove and reserve the flesh from the eggplant halves, being careful not to cut through the skin. At the end you want empty eggplant boats ready to welcome some tasty filling. Drizzle the eggplant shells generously with oil and season with a little salt. Place in the lined dish and bake for 30 minutes or until tender.

3. Meanwhile, chop the eggplant flesh into 1-cm pieces. Heat the remaining oil, garlic and parsley stalks in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. When fragrant, add the chopped eggplant flesh and cook for 4-5 minutes or until starting to brown. Add the tomato passata and half the chopped basil, then season with salt. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 20 minutes or until thickened and reduced.

4. Place the ricotta in a large bowl and mash with a fork until smooth. Add the tomato sauce, the egg, remaining chopped basil and most of the parmesan and stir to combine well. Season to taste.

5. Fill the cooked eggplant halves with the filling, Top with the breadcrumbs and scatter with the remaining parmesan cheese. Drizzle with a little olive oil and bake for 20 minutes or until golden. Grate some ricotta salata or pecorino on top when they are fresh out of the oven. Sprinkle with basil leaves and a little extra drizzle of olive oil and serve hot.

 

Silvia Colloca shares her Italian family secrets in the brand-new second-season of Cook like an Italian.