Baked Epplant with Ground Meat

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baked eggplant with ground beef

This dish takes a bit of time to prepare but is Well Worth it, as it is rich in nutrients as Well as flavor. Also appealing: Leftovers (if any) freeze Well.

  • 8 ServingsServings

Ingredients

  • 2 medium eggplants (about 1 1/4 pounds/567 g each)
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons for greasing the eggplants
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 medium onions
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 pound (450 g) veal and 1 pound (450 g) beef, ground together
  • One 28-ounce (794 g) can imported crushed tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons double-concentrated tomato paste
  • 1 cup (40 g) tightly packed fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces
  • 1 cup (40 g) loosely packed flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup (70 g) pine nuts

Preparation

Preheat the broiler. Set the rack in the broiler pan and cover it completely with heavy foil.

Trim the ends of the eggplants, peel, and out into 1/4-inch (6 mm) slices. Arrange the slices on the broiler-pan rack and lightly brush the top of each one with oil. Set the pan in  the oven (or broiling unit), as close as possible to the heat source. Broil the eggplant until golden. (You Will have to do this in several batches.) Remove the eggplant and set aside on a cookie sheet. Season with salt and pepper.

Finely chop the onions and the garlic. You can easily do this in a food processor. Be sure to quarter the onions and garlic first so that they chop quickly and don’t become mushy. In a wok, heat the remaining oil and sauté the onions and the garlic until soft. Add the meat, raise the heat, and stir-fry until it is lightly cooked. Add the tomatoes and tomato paste. Remove from the heat and stir in the basil and parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).

Line a glass, ceramic, or enamel-lined baking pan (about 10 by 16 inches/25 by 40 cm) with one third of the eggplant slices and cover with half of the meat. Make another layer of eggplant and add the rest of the meat. Place the remaining eggplant slices on top. Sprinkle with the pine nuts.

Cover the dish With foil and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 15 minutes, or until bubbling and very hot.

TO SERVE: Cut into 8 portions, each about 4 by 5 inches (10 by 13 cm).