I bought an aubergine the other day and I’ve been waiting for inspiration to strike ever since. The problem was that although there are plenty of aubergine recipes that just ask you to chop it up and add it into stews and tagines, I really wanted to showcase (and try to celebrate) the vegetable itself. That’s when the lightbulb switched on and I realised that the robust texture of the aubergine flesh would be ideal for making stuffed aubergine parcels.
I’ve written before about how I don’t think aubergines are a very exciting vegetable, but I think I might have changed my mind after using them in this meal. The aubergine slowly cooks down to produce the silky soft, creamy texture that I’ve read others applauding so loudly about and it’s further enhanced by the presence of the rich, tangy tomato ragu.
I really enjoyed the large amount of vegetables I used in this dish and I think an argument could be made that, unlike many other recipes which include meat in them, the sausagemeat wasn’t the star of the show. It’s just there to add a meaty richness to the meal. Also, although I made my stuffed aubergine parcels with sausagemeat I think you could make an awesome vegetarian version by using strips of halloumi cheese to stuff the parcels with instead.
However you decide to make these stuffed aubergine parcels, I’ll guarantee you’ll love it. How could you not when you’ve got soft, silky aubergine wrapped around strips of sweet red and green peppers, smooth courgette slices, and rich well-seasoned sausagemeat that’s all coated in a thick tomato ragu and a crisp topping of grated parmesan. It’s a real winner in my book.
1 aubergine (sliced into thin strips lengthways)
1 large courgette (sliced into thin strips lengthways)
1 red pepper (sliced into thin strips)
1 green pepper (sliced into thin strips)
12 green olives (halved)
50g dairy-free parmesan (or normal)
Ingredients for the sausage stuffing:
6 pork sausages (remove the skins)
1/2 tsp white ground pepper
A handful of fresh parsley (chopped finely)
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp asafoetida powder
To make the tomato ragu:
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 red chilli (finely chopped)
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp asafoetida
1 tsp dried oregano
Prepare your vegetables as directed.
Cook the slices of aubergine and courgette in the microwave so that they become soft.
Make the tomato ragu by putting the ragu ingredients into a microwavable jug and cooking in the microwave for 4 – 5 mins.
Place a strip of aubergine on your chopping board and add a slice of courgette on top. Add a lump of sausagemeat and some strips of green and red pepper before rolling up into parcels.
Repeat until all of the aubergine is used up. (If you have any vegetables left over then just add them to the tomato ragu.)
Place the aubergine parcels in a casserole dish and pour over the tomato ragu before topping with the halved olives and parmesan cheese.
Bake in the oven for 40-50 mins and then serve with a fresh green salad.