Wednesday, November 02, 2011


3 large eggplants
100 grams of smoked bacon
2 large white onions, chopped
half a clove of garlic, peeled and chopped
1 can of stewed tomatoes
a handful of fresh basil, torn into small pieces
1 large bell pepper, trimmed and chopped
about 3/4 cup of olive oil, perhaps more
225 gram pack of your favorite cheese (half cut into slices; the other half, grated)
about a cup of bread crumbs

Trim the ends of the eggplants and cut diagonally into 1/4 to 1/3 inch thick slices. Heat 1/4 cup of olive oil in a non-stick frying pan. Fry the sliced eggplants in batches until lightly browned. Flip them over for even browning. Eggplants absorb oil like sponge absorbs water so you will need to add more olive oil with every batch. When all the eggplant slices are nicely browned, place them on a plate and set aside. You want them to cool a bit for easy handling later. Reheat whatever olive oil remains in the pan. Cut the bacon into small pieces and add to the oil. Cook for about a minute then add the onions and garlic. Cook until the onions start to soften. Add the chopped bell pepper and continue cooking for about 2 minutes. Pour in the liquid from the can of stewed tomatoes. With your hand, crush the whole tomatoes straight into the pan. Throw in the basil leaves. Stir. Season with salt, lots of freshly ground pepper and a teaspoonful of sugar to cut the acidity of the tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes. Line the bottom of an oven proof pan with the fried eggplant slices. Cover with half of the tomato-bacon sauce. Add slices of cheese. Sprinkle bread crumbs over the cheese slices. Arrange the remaining eggplant slices on top of the cheese. Pour in the remaining half of the tomato-bacon sauce. Top with grated cheese and more bread crumbs. Bake in a preheat 175 degree C oven for 20 minutes or until the top is lightly browned. Let rest for at least 15 minutes before cutting and serving.

bacon recipe courtesy of: Connie Veneracion, CASA Veneracion, January 24, 2008

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