13 September, 2009

Eggplant Pasticcio



I have to admit something. Growing up, I never liked eggplants very much.
My mother used to plant them every year. Actually, we had a very big vegetable garden and she would grow all sort of vegetables. What I remember most vividly about that period is trying to defend the eggplants and potatoes from those horrible bugs that like to eat their leaves. Whatever they are called, I hated them. The point is that, back in those days, everything was organic, and yet I didn't even know that.
Anyway, when it came to cooking, my mother was a very simple woman. After all, she worked full time in a factory, had three kids, and all the work in and around the house. So, the only way I remember her preparing the eggplants was dipping them into batter and frying. I ate those, right, but never cared much for them. Because the problem with fried eggplants is that they absorb lots and lots of oil, and can get mushy and squishy.
But again, those are my childhood memories, and everybody knows kids have different tastes.
During the long period that I lived away from home, I think I hardly ever had eggplants.
Then I moved to Italy. And you have to know that Italian cuisine is full of wonderful recipes that include eggplants, Eggplant Parmigiana and Pasta alla Norma, to mention just a few of the most well known ones. Well, Eggplant Parmigiana was a hit with me from the very first time I ate it. My MIL makes a very good one. I myself have learned how to make it and have added my little twists along the way.
And now I come to the point. The Eggplant Pasticcio.
This summer, we had a 3-week holiday at the seaside, in three different Italian regions. First one in Romagna (Emilia Romagna), the second one in Calabria (the tip of the Italian boot) and the last one in Apulia (the heel of the Italian boot). Got a picture?
It was during the last week, in Apulia, that I tried this dish. A lovely lady, named Berenice, not only rented us an appartment, but also shared with us some of the food from her kitchen. Every day, on our return, after a long day on the beach, she would wait for us with something she had cooked that day. Not only was everything delicious, but also a big relief not having to prepare dinner. Me and my husband immediately fell in love with this Pasticcio and I absolutely could not go away without asking her for the recipe.
What do you say? You've never had eggplants? You think you don't like them?
After you have tried this, and you still don't like them, I let you alone, but first give it a try!




EGGPLANT PASTICCIO
(by Signora Berenice)

2 medium size eggplants
3-4 cloves of garlic
80 g ham
80-100 g mozzarella (or any other) cheese
4 tablespoons breadcrumbs
3 tabelspoons grated Parmigiano Reggiano
1 egg
Extra virgin olive oil
fresh basil or mint leaves
salt, pepper,

I used these bright violet eggplants, because they were available, and because they are less bitter than the regular ones. But you can absolutely use any eggplant available.

Peel the eggplants and cut into not too small pieces.

Warm up about 4-5 tablespoons of oil with the whole cloves of garlic in quite a big pot

and add the eggplants. Stir fry until they start getting softer. Cover and cook at low heat until they are very tender. The amount should reduce to about 1/3.

Let them cool a little. I also meshed them, but very slightly, didn't exactly want to make eggplant puré.

Add all other ingredients: diced cheese and ham, the egg, 2 tblsp of breadcrumbs, 2 tblsp of Parmigiano and chopped basil or mint leaves.

Add salt and pepper to your taste, you can also add some pepper flakes if you like it hot.

Pour the eggplant mixture into an oiled pan sprinkled with breadcrumbs

Mix 1 tablespoon of breadcrumbs and 1 tablespoon of grated Parmigiano cheese, sprinkle over the pasticcio

and drizzle with little oil.

Bake in an oven preheated to 200°C for about 45 minutes, or until you have a nice crust in surface.

Let it cool and serve.



(Ita)
PASTICCIO DI MELANZANE
(di signora Berenice)

Durante le vacanze, si sa, mangiamo tanto e mangiamo tante cose buone. Ma ditte la verità, non è tutto più buono se è qualcun altro a cucinare per voi? Almeno durante le vacanze. Poi si torna a casa con tanta voglia di mettersi di nuovo all'opera e a preparare quelle bontà assaggiate durante le vacanze.
Questo delizioso piato ci aveva preparato una graziosa signora in Puglia per ben due volte in una settimana, perché la prima volta ci è piaciuto tantissimo. Certamente, non potevo andare via senza chiederle la ricetta.
Credetemi, è cosi buono, che si scioglie in bocca. Irresistibile. Provatelo e ditemi se vi è piaciuto.


2 melanzane medie
3-4 spicchi d'aglio
80 g prosciutto cotto
80-100 g di fior di latte (o un altro formaggio)
4 cucchiai di pangrattato
3 cucchiai di Parmigiano grattugiato
1 uovo
Olio EVO
foglie di basilico o menta

Lavate e pelate le melanzane. Tagliatele a pezzi piuttosto grandi.
Scaldate 4-5 cucchiai di olio EVO in una pentola abbastanza grande da contenere le melanzane, aggiungete le melanzane e lasciate cuocere mescolando spesso.
Abbassate la temperatura e lasciatele cuocere coperte finché diventino morbide.
Schiacciatele leggermente e lasciate intiepidire.
Unite il formaggio e il prosciutto tagliati a dadini, 2 cucchiai di Parmigiano grattugiato e 2 cucchiai di pangrattato, l'uovo e le foglie di basilico o menta spezzettate.
Ungete di olio una pirofila e cospargetela con un cucchiaio di pangrattato. Versateci dentro le melanzane, livellate con un cucchiaio. Mescolate 1 cucchiaio di pangrattato e 1 cucchiaio di Parmigiano e cospargete il pasticcio.
Infornate nel forno già caldo per circa 45 minuti.
Lasciate raffreddare prima di servire.
Betty, anche questa ricettina è per la tua
Raccolta di Stagione. E voi, avete già visto quante cose buone si possono preparare con la frutta e verdura di stagione? No! Allora basta un clic su questo banner:






(Cro)
PASTICCIO OD PATLIDŽANA

Ovaj je recept je postao jedan od mojih omiljenih načina pripreme patlidžana. Tako je ukusno i topi se u ustima, da je doista neodoljivo. Sigurna sam da bi se svidjelo i onima koji misle da nisu ljubitelji patlidžana. Za svaku namirnicu treba jednostavno otkriti pravi način pripreme. A ovaj je, vjerujte mi, odličan.
Uz to je i prilično lako zamijeniti ili dodati sastojke, da se može prilagoditi svakoj situaciji, prostoru ili godišnjem dobu.

2 srednje velika patlidžana
3-4 češnja češnjaka
80 g šunke
80-100 g mozzarelle (ili drugog sira po izboru)
4 žlice mrvica
3 žlice ribanog parmezana
1 jaje
maslinovo ulje
svježi bosiljak ili menta

Operite i ogulite patlidžane. Narežite ih na krupnije komade. Zagrijete oko 4-5 žlica ulja i popržite češnjak da zamiriše, pa dodajte narezane patlidžane. Miješajte da ne zagore i da ravnomjerno upiju ulje. Ako je presuho, dodajte još malo ulja.
Smanjite temperaturu, poklopite i kuhajte dok patlidžani ne omekšaju.
Ja sam ih malo zgnječila tijeskom za pire krumpir, ali možete ostaviti cijele komade.
Dodajte šunku i sir narezane na kockice, mrvice, parmezan i malo razmućeno jaje, natrgane listiće bosiljka ili mente.
Promiješajte da se sve poveže.
Nauljite vatrostalnu posudu i pospite je mrvicama. Uspite smjesu od patlidžana, poravnajte žlicom. Pomiješajte žlicu mrvica i žlicu parmezana pa pospite po površini. Pospite s malo ulja i pecite u pećnici zagrijanoj na 180-200°C oko 45 minuta, dok se ne uhvati korica na površini.
Možete poslužiti odmah, ali je bolje pripremite li ovo jelo unaprijed i ostavite da se ohladi i da se okusi i mirisi dobro prožmu.

11 comments:

  1. The eggplants look very different from what I get here....I always like eggplants, best with chillies, or white eggplants with curry.. ;-)

    Eggplant pasticcio is new for me, and I believe it's good with garlic, cheese and ham.

    Angie's Recipes

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  2. Dajana, my husband was drooling over my shoulder as a read this. I've had eggplant, but I've never made it. This one sounds like a great recipe to try!

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  3. I've never been a fan of eggplant, not in my childhood nor today. But this recipe really sounds tempting! : )

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  4. I didn't like eggplant when I was a kid either. My Mom did the same - fried them up - and made parmigiana with them. But now I love eggplant! And this dish - how delicious! And how very sweet of that lady - I bet it brought her just as much joy as it did you.

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  5. What a great story! and I too didn't like eggplant as a child (still don't as far as I know....I've never tried cooking it!!). My mom tried to hide it in the lasagna but it didn't work. I am very tempted to try this recipe...as long as I can get an eggplant that isn't bitter.

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  6. YUM... I love Eggplant, I just don't cook it often cause I can never find good fresh eggplant. They always seem to be over ripe in the store... It looks delicious!!!

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  7. This looks really good. I like eggplant, but don't really know many ways to cook it, because I didn't grow up eating it (thanks mom & dad)! I am going to save this and give it a try...thanks Daja :D

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  8. I love that type of eggplant. We call it Sicilian Eggplant. I agree it is less bitter, it has less seeds to it seems. This dish looks fantastic and I can't wait to try it!

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  9. I love eggplants... of course! And the light violet ones are delicate. I posted some eggplant-based recipes, but this is something different... I'll try it! Thank you for your suggestion. And... see you soon!

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  10. I've always been afraid of eggplant... except eggplant parmesan... but maybe I'll give this a try! I think I haven't really given it a fair chance as an adult!

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