- Two new stops added to the Tour del Gelato! The rest of you, get moving!
- Keep on giving! We’re only on the second day of the Menu for Hope already at over $5,000!! Many prizes have no bidders as of yet! Check my previous post about the Menu for Hope or Chez Pim’s roundup for more details about the prizes. Remember the code for my prize is: EU15. Or donate directly here.
Today is a bit of a tribute to fellow blogger in Italy, Ilva’s Lucillian Delights.
I am often inspired by fellow bloggers and foodies but most of the time I come away thinking, I probably can’t do that. Yet when I read Ilva’s posts and she motivates me with her amazing pictures, I sometimes think, I could (maybe) do that. I should definitely do it! She does it every day, probably several times a day. Although I’m not ready to dedicate the time or effort to do it so often, I try at least once a week to get out of my comfort cooking zone.
And her photos make it look so gooood. Which, incidentally, is her prize for the Menu for Hope III – 3 beautiful photos ready to frame.
So while I was at the store a few weeks ago, I purchased two eggplants, remembering that Ilva had done a post a few months ago about stuffed eggplant, or melanzane ripieni. Though I didn’t want to replicate it (because then I would just have to point this post to her recipe and far superior photos), I definitely used it as my inspiration.
Come closer to the screen.
I have a confession to make.
I made a big mess making this dish. I guess that happens when you’re winging it. And it requires a bit of coordination and timing (and pans!) that I hope few people have the first time they wing a recipe. Note to self: Must plan ahead. Bits of rice were found for weeks after, in my exuberance for preparing this dish.
I used spicy hot pepper sausage because I’m definitely in a spicy stage, and I added a little more peperoncino to the mix as well. If you’re not really into spicy, use a regular sausage but I recommend adding just a touch of hot pepper anyway.
2 medium/large eggplants
1 small onion
3-400g fresh sausage
peperoncino hot pepper
cinnamon/nutmeg to taste
80g rice per person
Cut the eggplants lengthwise, and scoop out (or cut out, depending on your skills) the insides, leaving a boat. Set aside the insides. Drizzle a little oil and bake the boats in the oven for 15-20 minutes until slightly browned.
In the meantime, cook rice according to instructions, and set aside. Also in the meantime, chop the onion and cook it with a little olive oil. When it starts turning opaque, add the sausage. Before fully cooked, take off the heat.
If you’re using a sausage that comes in a case, I recommend removing it before cooking. I just squeezed mine out like a tube of toothpaste. FUN. While cooking, I tried to keep chunks of the sausage intact, but you could mash it up completely if you want it more integrated.
In a separate dish or after you’ve finished the sausage, cook the cubed eggplant in a little olive oil until soft. Add the hot pepper, cinnamon and/or nutmeg to taste. Add the sausage mix to the eggplant and mix. Lastly, add the rice and mix just to coat. Scoop into the boats and cook for 15-20 minutes.
Here’s a pic of the finished product. I can’t compete with Ilva but I was pretty pleased with the results. I don’t touch up any of my photos unless I specifically state, so it’s Photoshop-less.
Keep on giving!! Donate here: http://www.firstgiving.com/menuforhopeIII