Fried Stuffed Eggplant: Melanzane Ripiene e Fritte
- 2 pounds small eggplants, slit lengthwise 3/4 up their length and left attached at the stem end
- 2 eggs, whole, plus 2 eggs, beaten
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped basil
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup, plus 1 cup fresh bread crumbs, made from pane di casa
- 3/4 pound sliced provola cheese
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil and add 2 tablespoons salt. Cook the eggplants in the salted water for 10 minutes. Drain and dry well with paper towels.
Using a spoon or melon baller, scoop out the eggplant flesh, leaving the skin of the 2 halves intact. Place the flesh in a large bowl. Add 2 whole eggs, the Parmigiano, garlic, basil, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper and mix well to combine. Add 1/4 cup bread crumbs and stir in. Divide the mixture evenly among the eggplants, filling the shells, and then place a slice of provola in the center of each eggplant. Dredge each eggplant lightly in the flour, then the beaten egg, then the remaining bread crumbs.
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil until almost smoking. Add the eggplants and fry on both sides until cooked through, about 10 minutes. Drain on a plate lined with paper towels and serve.
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