What You’ll Need:
- 1lb. Great Lakes Mini Eggplants
- ½ tbsp. olive oil
- ¾ lb. lean ground beef
- 1 egg
- 2 slices white bread, crust less
- 2-3 tbsp. milk
- ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 2 tsp dry parsley
- 1 tsp oregano
- ½ tsp paprika
- ½ cup fresh mozzarella
- 8oz can tomato sauce
- ¼ cup breadcrumbs
1.First, wash all your eggplant and cut in half. Scoop out the center and set that aside (don’t throw it away!).
2.If you have the time, place the cut eggplants in a large bowl, and cover with cold water mixed with salt. This will help pull out any bitterness. If you don’t have time, you can skip it!
3.Grab the eggplant centers you set aside, and chop finely. Heat the olive oil in a small nonstick pan, and sauté the eggplant until tender and slightly golden. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
4.In a medium bowl, combine the milk and bread, and mash together with a fork. Add in the ground beef, egg, grated parmesan, and all the seasonings. Add in the cooked eggplant. Mix everything together until well incorporated.
5.At this point, preheat the oven to 400F. Grab a large 10″ cast iron skillet or 9×13 pan, and lightly oil the bottom. Arrange the eggplant shells in a single layer, then fill each with the meatball mixture.
6.Divide the fresh mozzarella evenly among all of them, then spoon some tomato sauce on top of each. Sprinkle with the breadcrumbs.
7.Add about ½” of water into the bottom of your pan or skillet, then cover with foil, and bake for 35 minutes. Then remove the foil, and bake for 10-15 more minutes, until cheese is melted and bubbly.
*Note: if you make this with large eggplants, you will need to increase the cooking time.*
Serve immediately over pasta or rice and enjoy!