It has been fantastic to receive lots of positive feedback about our recipes, especially when it has inspired you to create delicious meals with local in-season produce. This recipe, Capsico & Melanzane Ripiene (Stuffed Capsicums and Eggplants) was inspired by Bianca, one of our readers, who asked what she could do with end of season eggplants.
As the autumn equinox brings an end to the summer heat, the shorter days and noticeable chiller nights signals the end to many summer vegetable favourites. The last of the season eggplants and capsicums are usually smaller and not as sweet as per the in-season peak, however they are the perfect size to fill with meat and cook with freshly bottled tomato sauce.
“Come le faceva la nonna” – This Stuffed Capsicum and Eggplant recipe is just how nonna used to make them!
Ingredients (makes 3 meals for 4 people)
- 10 x small eggplants (no larger than the size of your hand)
- 10 x small red capsicums (no larger than the size of your hand)
- 2 cups x rice crumbs (we prefer this gluten free option – but bread crumbs can be used)
- 750g x mince (beef or a combination of beef and pork)
- 150g x Parmesan cheese (grated)
- 2 eggs (+1 extra if needed) – keep white of one egg separate
- Basil (large bunch) – chopped
- Parsley (large bunch) – chopped
- 2 small cloves of garlic – crushed
- Sea salt
- Black pepper – ground
- Olive Oil
- Traditional Italian tomato sauce
Method - How Nonna Used To Make Them
1. Wash and dry capsicums and eggplants
2. Core out the stem of the capsicums.
3. Cut the tops off the capsicum (about 1cm from the top) or cut in half length-ways. Place tops in a separate bowl. If capsicums are large, cut in half length ways
4. Cut the tops off the eggplant and then cut in half length-ways.
5. With a sharp knife cut an incision around the inside edge of the eggplant. (do not cut too deep and pierce the skin)
6. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil.
7. Place in the eggplants first. Wait a minute or two and then add the whole capsicums and finally the tops of the capsicums.
8. Boil for 8-10 minutes until the eggplants are tender. Capsicums may need to be removed earlier once cooked and soft.
9. Drain and leave to cool slightly until cool enough to touch.
10. Spoon out the flesh of the eggplant. Do not go too deep (leave around ½ cm of flesh) and again be careful not to cut through the skin.
11. Put the eggplant flesh and the tops of the capsicums in a kitchen wiz and gently wiz so they remain slightly chunky.
12. Pat dry the capsicums and the eggplant shells with paper towel and set aside.
13. In a bowl add the mince, Parmesan (save a small amount of Parmesan for later step), rice crumbs, eggs, garlic, basil, parsley, salt and pepper. Mix well.
14. Add the blended eggplant and capsicum flesh into the mince and mix.
15. If mix is too dry and not holding together add an extra egg or if it is too moist add extra rice crumbs.
16. Taste a little bit of the mixture to check seasoning. Add salt and pepper as desired.
17. Lay out the capsicums and eggplant shells. With a skewer, poke a few holes in the shells. This will help stop them from exploding during frying.
18. Sprinkle a small amount of parmesan cheese inside each shell.
19. Take a shell and fill firmly with the mixture. Repeat until all shells are filled.
20. Make fritters if extra mixture remains.
21. Add olive oil to a frypan on medium to high heat.
22. Once hot, take each shell, coat lightly with the egg white and place in frypan. The egg white will stop them absorbing too much oil.
23. Fry for about 3-5 minutes until golden brown, flip, and then fry the other side for a few minutes.
24. Remove from pan and place in a large oven baking dish or if you are going to freeze into aluminium baking dish with lid.
25. Spoon over a generous amount of tomato sauce and sprinkle with Parmesan.
26. To cook, heat oven to 180 degrees and bake for 20-25 minutes. Store dish in refrigerator if not cooking immediately.
These are absolutely delicious and one tasty way to get the whole family eating their vegetables. There are many steps, but they are very easy and simple to make and store very well. The recipe will make 3 meals for a family of 4, so it is sure worth the effort as they will keep sealed in the freezer for a few months.
Now you know how to make Capsico & Melanzane Ripiene just how nonna used to make them. Buon Appetito.
Have any questions or feedback. Let us know in the comment section below.
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