Stuffed eggplant casserole

Yield: 4 Servings

Measure Ingredient
¼ cup Pine nuts; to taste
¼ cup Vegetable oil
12 \N Italian eggplants; 4- or 5-i
2 tablespoons Water
6 ounces Ground beef; --or--
6 ounces Ground lamb
2 teaspoons Garlic; chopped
1 small Bay leaf
1 small Onion; grated
½ cup Green bell pepper; core/seed
¾ teaspoon Ground allspice
⅛ teaspoon Ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons Jalapeno, finely minced; or
1 pinch Cloves; ground
1 pinch Nutmeg; grated
3 teaspoons Tomato paste
½ cup Water
¼ cup Chopped parsley; (plus 2 tbs
1 pinch Sugar
2 \N Tomatoes; seeded and sliced
\N \N Salt; to taste
\N \N Fresh ground pepper

Recipe by: Joel.Ehrlich@... (Joel Ehrlich) Brown the nuts in ¼ of the oil in a (9") skillet. Add the meat and cook until brown and crumbly, one to two minutes. Add the grated onion and the first measure of water. Cook for two minutes more. Stir in the spices, one third of the tomato paste, the first measure of parsley and salt and pepper. Set aside. Remove ½" wide vertical strips of peel all around the eggplants, leaving 1" between them. Heat another ¼ of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over moderate heat. Cook the eggplants, tightly covered, until the flesh is golden and tender, about 15 minutes, turning them over halfway through the cooking. Cool on racks over paper towels. Discard the oil from the skillet. Add the remaining oil and the chopped onion, garlic, bay leaf and peppers.

Cook, uncovered, for five minutes, stirring. Dissolve the remaining tomato paste in the second measure of water, add it and cook one minute longer. Season with salt, pepper and sugar. Set aside. Press open one of the striped sides of each eggplant to form a small cavity. Spread the meat filling in each, about two tablespoons.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spread the vegetable sauce on the bottom of a (12") baking dish. Arrange the eggplants in it and top with the tomato slices. Cover with foil and bake 45 minutes. Uncover and bake 15 minutes longer. Sprinkle with the second measure of parsley and serve.

Yields 4 Servings

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