Tama's Beef Stuffed Eggplant With Spicy Tomato Sauce

These tasty tapas-style eggplants can be an appetizer, an entrée or the hit at a party!

Servings: 4

Cook Time: 1 hour

Pair With: A food-friendly Tempranillo or Sangiovese.

Source: Recipe and photo courtesy Tama Takahashi, Touring & Tasting Food Editor


Ingredients For the Tomato Sauce:

4 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup chopped onion

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 1/2 lbs. fresh tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped or 1 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon red chile flakes for mild, 1 tablespoon for hot and spicy

1/8 cup red wine

salt and pepper to taste


Ingredients For the Eggplant:

4 small Japanese eggplant


3 tablespoons olive oil

4 tablespoons minced onion

4 garlic cloves, minced

4 tablespoon minced red bell pepper

1 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon chile flakes

1 egg

1 pound. lean ground beef

1/4 cup dry bread crumbs

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

spray olive oil


Ingredients For Tomato Sauce:

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 onion, diced

4 garlic cloves, sliced

3 tablespoons basil

1/4 cup red wine

2 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped or 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes



Directions For the Tomato Sauce:

In a large saucepan, sweat (cook without browning) the onion and garlic in the oil until the onion is translucent. Add the tomatoes, paprika, red chile and red wine and simmer over medium low heat for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Salt and pepper to taste.


Direction For the Eggplant:

Cut the ends off the eggplant and remove the core, using an apple corer. Sprinkle salt liberally inside. Shake out excess salt and put the eggplants on end on some paper towels to drain for 20 minutes  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Sweat (cook without browning) the onion, garlic, bell pepper, cumin and chile flakes in oil until the onion is translucent. Set aside to cool.

In a mixing bowl, stir the egg, then add the ground beef, bread crumbs, black pepper and the onion/garlic mixture and mix well. With a sharp knife, make lengthwise slits in the eggplants, starting one inch from one end and ending an inch before the other. Carefully stuff 1/4 of the meat mixture into each eggplant. Place in an oiled baking dish. Spray the eggplants with oil, cover and bake for 35-45 minutes or until the meat is cooked through.


Visit our Wine Store to find a wine for this recipe.