Stuffed Eggplant and Peppers in Tomato Sauce
Eggplant and peppers stuffed with my mom's meatball filling and simmered in tomato sauce until tender. This is my idea of the perfect fall dinner! Serve the tomato sauce with your favorite pasta as a first course to complete this delicious meal.
Servings 4 - 6 servings
- 4 baby eggplant
- 4 cubanelle peppers
- 1 best Italian meatball recipe follow the recipe for the meatballs (without the tomato sauce) and reduce the amount of ground meat to 225 grams (1/2 lb)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2-3 potatoes peeled and cut into wedges
- 1 garlic clove slivered
- 2 cups tomato passata (tomato purée)
- pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
For serving (option)
- package of pasta of your choice cooked
Prepare the eggplant and peppers:
Prepare the meatball filling:
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients for the meatballs, that is the ground meat; fresh breadcrumbs; grated Parmigiano/Pecorino Romano cheeses; garlic; parsley; eggs and salt and pepper. Remember to reduce the amount of ground meat to 225 grams. Add the cooked eggplant flesh and stir all ingredients to combine well.
Stuff the eggplant and peppers:
Add oil to a wide, deep pan and place the vegetables filling side down to brown them. Brown all sides, about two minutes each side. Remove from the pan and set aside on a plate. Add quartered potatoes and extra meatballs (if you have any) to the pan and brown on all sides. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Add a slivered garlic clove to the pan with the drippings, after a minute add tomato passata (tomato purée) and a cup of water to the pan. Simmer for about 10 minutes, then nestle the vegetables, potatoes and meatballs (if any) in the sauce.
Pour in enough water to submerge the vegetables, keeping in mind that the eggplant will float on the surface of the sauce therefore will not remain completely submerged. I added about 2 cups of water. Add salt, to taste, dried red pepper flakes (optional) and simmer partially covered for two hours or until the vegetables and potatoes are tender.
- If you're lucky enough to have access to cucuzza, cut into approximate 3 inch lengths, hollow the pieces as I did for the eggplant. Stuff with the meatball filling and proceed with the recipe as outlined above.
- I enjoy using cubanelle peppers for this recipe due to their sweetness, however if you can't find any bell peppers can be substituted.
- Depending on the size of your eggplant and peppers, you may have extra meatball mixture. Shape into a few meatballs, brown them and add to the sauce.
- This recipe can be transformed into a vegetarian recipe by omitting the meat and replacing it with extra fresh breadcrumbs for the meatball filling.
- Leftover stuffed eggplant and peppers keep well in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Any leftover sauce may also be frozen for up to 3 months.
- Please note that the nutritional information provided is approximate and may vary according to ingredients used and exact portion size.
Calories: 970kcal | Carbohydrates: 105g | Protein: 42g | Fat: 38g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 175mg | Sodium: 2020mg | Potassium: 1093mg | Fiber: 17g | Sugar: 29g | Vitamin A: 751IU | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 44mg | Iron: 3mg