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Stuffed Baby Eggplants in Spicy Tomato Sauce

Serves two as a main course or 4 as a first course.
Eggplants and Filling
4 baby eggplant
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 large clove of garlic, minced
8oz 93% lean ground turkey
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ras al hanout*
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons raisins (25gm)

Spicy Tomato Sauce
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 large clove of garlic, finely minced
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ras al hanout*
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 14oz can diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste

Prepare the eggplant for filling. Cut a small slice from the end of each eggplant (opposite the stem side). Using a melon baller, carefully scoop out most of the flesh from each one, leaving a shell of about 1/4".

Prepare the filling and stuff the eggplants. Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and saute for about five minutes, until golden and softened. Add the garlic and stir for one minute more. Cool slightly, and then place in a bowl along with the ground turkey and remaining ingredients for the filling. Mix thoroughly with your hands (you may as well use them, since you'll also be using them to stuff the eggplants.) Pack the filling tightly into the eggplants and set aside.

Prepare the sauce. Pulse the tomatoes and their juices in a blender or food processor, but do not fully puree them (leave a bit of texture). Heat the remaining 1 teaspoon olive oil in a skillet large enough to fit the eggplants over medium heat. Add the garlic, ras al hanout and cayenne pepper, and stir for about one minute, until aromatic. Stir in the tomatoes, salt, and tomato paste. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat. Nestle the stuffed eggplants in the skillet with the sauce. Cover and simmer for one hour, turning halfway through.

Remove the eggplants from the sauce and keep warm. Bring the sauce to a boil and cook for several minutes to thicken. Ladle some of the thick, spicy sauce onto each plate and serve the eggplant on top of the sauce.

Nutritional Info
Servings Per Recipe: 2
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 344.7
Total Fat: 12.9 g
Cholesterol: 100.0 mg
Sodium: 501.8 mg
Total Carbs: 31.2 g
Dietary Fiber: 7.0 g
Protein: 28.9 g

*Ras al hanout may be purchased, or prepared. There are many recipes around, but I like this one and I happened to have all the ingredients. Store the extra in a small jar or container.

Ras al Hanout
Slightly adapted from The Encylopedia of Spices

1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon turmeic
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves