What to do with leftover Bolognaise sauce? This is what I found myself wondering after Nick pulled the remaining Bolognaise out of the freezer earlier this week. I wasn’t in the mood for pasta. But wait! I just bought an eggplant at the épicerie across the street. I had no plans for it, but it was so beautiful and perfect that I just had to buy it. What if I were to stuff this eggplant with the Bolognaise? That sounds pretty tasty… with a little green salad, maybe some goat cheese… I’m doing it. I’ll just make it into a filling with some breadcrumbs, Grana Padano, and an egg. Piece of cake. Except I don’t have any breadcrumbs. Nor do I have a food processor. Or even a half-eaten baguette to grate. Hmm. I’ll just get a cheap baguette, tear it up, dry it out in the oven, and smash it with a rolling pin.
This plan actually worked pretty well. It would have worked beautifully if the plastic bag I put the bread in to contain the crumbs wasn’t so darn flimsy. After cleaning up the mess I made, I still had plenty of breadcrumbs to make my filling.
First, however, there was the matter of the eggplant. I cut it in half, then scored around the edge of each cut side to create about a 1/2 inch-thick shell. I scored the centers into cubes and cut/pulled them out and placed them in a colander. I salted the shells and placed them face-down on a paper towel. I salted the extra flesh as well, and left it all to drain for about half an hour.
When the eggplant was ready, I quickly sautéed the flesh in some olive oil, and seasoned the shells with pepper. I scooped out the necessary Bolognaise into a bowl (about 3 heaping spoonfuls per shell) and stirred in an egg. Next I added a handful of breadcrumbs and a sprinkling of grated Grana Padano. I spooned this filling into the eggplant shells and topped them with more breadcrumbs and cheese. Then into the oven for about 40 minutes, until the eggplant was tender, but still firm enough to hold its shape.
In the meantime I threw together a quick green salad, crumbled some fresh goat cheese on top, and we were ready to eat!