Even if you don't can your own tomato sauce, you can make Maria D Ugos stuffed eggplant; simply use fresh tomatoes or canned San Marzano tomatoes.
- Servings: 8
Source: Martha Stewart Living, August 2002
- 4 small Italian eggplants (about 1 pound)
- 2 teaspoons coarse salt
- 2 quarts water
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 pints Canned Tomato a Pezzetti or canned chunky tomatoes
- 1 small red bell pepper, seeds and ribs removed, cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 3/4 cup fresh mozzarella cheese, grated
- 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut eggplants in half lengthwise, and use a melon baller or small spoon to scoop out flesh, leaving a 1/4-inch border around the edges. Place flesh in a sieve set over a medium bowl, and toss with 1 teaspoon salt; let sit 20 minutes to drain excess moisture. Coarsely chop until pieces are about the size of peas. Meanwhile, bring the water to a boil in a large saucepan, and add the eggplant shells. Cook 2 minutes; transfer to drain on a baking sheet, cut side down, and let cool slightly.
In a medium skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add half the garlic, the chopped eggplant, and remaining teaspoon salt; saute, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes. Add 2 cups tomatoes; increase heat to medium-high, and continue cooking until the tomatoes stop releasing juices, about 3 minutes more. Add half the red pepper and the parsley and oregano. Transfer to a medium bowl; add egg, cheese, and 6 tablespoons breadcrumbs. Stir well to combine.
In an 8-by-11 1/2-inch baking dish, mix remaining 2 cups tomatoes with remaining garlic and red pepper. Scoop heaping amounts of filling into eggplant shells, and arrange on top of tomato mixture in baking dish. Mix remaining 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs and teaspoon olive oil; sprinkle over eggplant filling. Bake until the tops begin to brown, about 1 hour. Remove from oven, and serve hot.