2 (1 lb)
olive oil, plus
extra oil, for rubbing the eggplants
lean ground lamb
garlic cloves, minced
tomatoes, peeled, seeded, diced
green bell pepper, peeled, seeded and diced
1 1/3 cups
fresh ground pepper
nutmeg, freshly grated
1 -2 tablespoon
parmesan cheese, grated
( to garnish)
- Halve the eggplants lengthwise and score the interior of each half, leaving about a third of an inch thickness on the perimeter.
- Use a paring knife and a spoon to scoop out the interior of the eggplant, leaving a 'boat.'.
- Using a fork, pierce the skin in several places, liberally salt the halves and place them upside down on paper towels to drain for about 30 minutes.
- Chop the eggplant flesh into 1/2" cubes and set aside 4 cups of the cubes (reserve any excess for another recipe).
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Wipe the eggplant shells out with paper towels, brush the skin lightly with a little olive oil, and place them on a baking sheet.
- Bake them until they are just tender (about ten minutes) then remove from the oven and set aside in a baking dish.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
- Add the lamb and cook, breaking up the pieces, until lightly browned--about 5 minutes.
- Add the onion, garlic, 4 cups of eggplant and cook, stirring occasionally, until the eggplant is soft--about five more minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, bell pepper, cloves, cumin, cinnamon and cayenne and cook until the mixture is fairly dry.
- Remove from the heat and stir in 1/2 cup of the ricotta.
- Season to taste and spoon into the 4 eggplant halves.
- Place the remaining 1 and 1/3 cups of ricotta in a small bowl and stir in the nutmeg and enough milk until the consistency of the cheese mixture is spreadable.
- Spread it over the filled eggplant halves and sprinkle the tops with parmesan.
- Bake until the tops are very brown--25 to 35 minutes.
- Sprinkle with parsley and serve.