Prep 20 mins
Cook 1 hr
Recipe by Frank Castronovo and Frank Falcinelli, From 12 Italian Classics You Need to Try Now. This recipe was calling me to try it but haven't as yet. However, it sounds delicious! Castronovo and Falcinelli insist that Sicilians outdo everyone in Italy when it comes to eggplant dishes. This sweet & sour variation was a recent discovery “The distinctive flavor is just killer.” Food & Wine Magazine.
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 28 ounces peeled Italian tomatoes, crushed
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1⁄2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- fresh ground white pepper
- crushed red pepper flakes (for that extra zing)
- 2 large eggplants, sliced crosswise 3/4 inch thick (about 1 1/4 pounds each)
- 1⁄2 cup shredded ricotta salata
- 2 tablespoons chopped mint
- In a saucepan, combine the water and sugar and stir over high heat until the sugar dissolves.
- Cook without stirring until a light amber caramel forms, about 2 minutes.
- Off the heat, add the vinegar.
- Cook the caramel over very low heat just until it softens, about 1 minute.
- Add the tomatoes, garlic and 1/4 cup of the oil and season with salt and white pepper.
- Simmer over moderately low heat until thickened, about 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400°F
- Brush a large rimmed baking sheet with 2 tablespoons of the oil.
- Arrange the eggplant on the sheet and brush with the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil; season with salt and white pepper.
- Roast the eggplant for 10 minutes, then flip and roast for 10 minutes longer, until tender and lightly golden.
- Arrange the eggplant slices in an 8x11-inch baking dish in slightly overlapping rows.
- Spoon two-thirds of the tomato sauce on top and bake for 20 minutes, until bubbling and browned around the edges.
- Sprinkle the cheese and mint on top and serve warm or at room temperature, passing the remaining sauce on the side.
- *WINE: Try Cusumano’s plush, fruity 2005.
Made this for a dinner party on Saturday. Everyone loved it. The unique contrast between the very slight sweetness and the sour of the vinegar made it truly shine. I used 5 eggplants (two large and three small) to make one 9x15 Pyrex glass baking dish 3/4 full. Roasting the eggplant deflates it as you know. But, the same amount of sauce was fine for the increased amount of eggplant, can't imagine needing that much for just 2 eggplants. Be careful, the time it takes for the sugar water to go from clear to burned is pretty short. But the second time was a charm. Can't say enough about how much everyone loved this dish. Thanks DiSharf, for posting this great recipe.