Quick fake-out stuffed aubergine

  • Preparation Time5 mins
  • Cooking Time25 mins
  • Serves4
  • DifficultyEasy
5 small firm aubergines, about 15 to 17 cm long and 8cm wide or 5 japanese aubergines about the same size
5 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
450g ground beef or lamb
2 tbsp tomato puree
1 small to medium onion, finely chopped
3 to 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
A small handful of sultanas
Splash of white wine or chicken stock
3 to 4 tbsp toasted pine nuts
A handful of basil leaves, torn or chopped
45g unsalted butter
90g bread crumbs
A couple generous handfuls finely chopped parsley leaves
50g finely grated percorino cheese, or Parmigiano Reggiano
1) Heat the oven to 240C/Gas 9.

2) Halve 4 of the aubergines lengthwise. Pour about 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil on a rimmed baking tray. Season the cut aubergine with salt and pepper, to taste, and arrange, cut side down, in the oil. Put in the oven and roast until tender, about 20 minutes.

3) Peel the remaining aubergine and dice into 1cm pieces. Put 1 tbsp oil in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat. Stir in the beef or lamb, the tomato puree, onion, garlic, diced aubergine and sultanas. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add the wine or stock and cook until the aubergine and onions are soft, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the pine nuts and basil.

4) While the meat cooks, melt the butter in small pan over a medium heat, add the breadcrumbs and toast until golden. Transfer to a bowl and cool. Stir the parsley and cheese into the breadcrumbs and add half of this mixture to the meat.

5) Remove the aubergine from the oven, flip it over and transfer to a serving platter. Top each halved aubergine with a mound of stuffing and sprinkle the remaining cheesy breadcrumbs over the top before serving.

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