Katie Stew

A rich, simmering blend of my favorite things

Sformatini Di Melanzane al Basilico


A Sformatini is a kind of savory pudding, rather like the filling in a quiche. Think of this as a small Italian crustless quiche. Melanzane means eggplant in Italian. And I bet you can guess that Basilico is just basil.

In my cooking classes, in Italy, we had something like this as an appetizer, probably four times. They use all kinds of vegetables inside and it is a delicious, light way to start a meal. MiniquicheWhen we made the sauce for this in class, I couldn’t believe how easy it was. Parsley, capers and oil? But it really works. It brings a freshness to the dish. A light, green tartness to the savory egg mixture.

This is a really simple and elegant first course for a meal. You could even serve two of them with a big salad for a nice light lunch.
miniquiche1 Try a little taste of Italy in your home.

Sformatini di Melanzane al Basilico

Recipe from Corso Intensivo di Cucina, at the Dante Aligheiri School in Siena

  • 1 large eggplant, or two small
  • 1 red pepper
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • basil leaves
  • olive oil, salt and pepper
  • 2 TB capers
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • breadcrumbs
  • butter

Cut the eggplant into small cubes. Slice the bell peppers and cut into small cubes as well. In a large pan, sauté the eggplant, bell peppers, whole cloves of garlic, and sprig of rosemary- using olive oil as needed. When eggplant is cooked, remove from heat and take out the rosemary sprig and garlic. Throw away. In a mixing bowl, combine eggplant mixture with the egg mixture. Salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 350.

Get a muffin pan and rub insides with butter. Then coat with breadcrumbs. Then lay a leaf of basil in the bottom of every muffin tin.

Pour egg/eggplant mixture into each muffin tin, pressing mixture down well. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until egg is set and top is brown.

For the sauce: Finely chop the leaves of one bunch of parsley. Finely chop the capers and mix with the parsley. Add olive oil until a loose pesto forms. Salt and pepper.

When the sformatini is done, spread parsley sauce on plate and set on top. Serve and enjoy!

Photographs by Jessica Yager.


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