Marina’s Stuffed Eggplant
We love Sausage!
In case you haven't noticed, we love eggplant in the Backes household. We like it fried, with parmesan, grilled and of course, stuffed. This recipe is easy, quick and delicious. Enjoy!
2 medium eggplants (6 in. length), cut in ½ lengthwise
½ Tbsp. olive oil
½ lb. Circle B Ranch Sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cups Marina’s Italian Style Tomato Sauce or more if needed
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup Mozzarella, shredded
¼ cup Parmesan, grated
Basil for garnish
Scoop the middle of the eggplant out; leave about ½ inch around the sides. Chop and reserve the scooped-out eggplant.
Cook the sausage and onion in a pan over medium heat, breaking up the sausage as you go, for approximately 10 minutes or until sausage is cooked.
Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add the chopped reserved eggplant and cook until tender, about 5-8 minutes.
Add 1 cup of Marina’s Italian Style Tomato Sauce, season with salt and pepper to taste and cook to heat, about 3-5 minutes, before removing from heat.
Spread the remaining Tomato Sauce over the bottom of a baking dish. Place the eggplant shells in with the fleshy hollowed out sides up, fill them with the sauce, top with the cheeses, and bake in a preheated oven at 400°F. Bake until cheese has melted and sauce is bubbling, about 10-15 minutes.
Serve with fresh basil.
Make scooping out the eggplant easier by cutting crosshatches and ¼ inch around the outside before scooping.
If eggplant shells will not stand upright, cut a small slice from the bottom to create a small flat area to help stabilize them.
You can skip pre-baking the eggplant shells if you fill the raw eggplant with the sauce, cover it with foil, and bake it at 350°F.
Bake until the shells are tender and cheeses are melted; baking time increases to 40-50 minutes. Omit the sausage for a vegetarian version of the dish.