Eggplant Doublets are a must for Sunday lunch in Sicily. Simple to put together, it’s a different ( and totally tasty) way to present the classic spaghetti with tomato and fried eggplant.
If you have never tasted eggplant spaghetti sandwiches before, you have no idea what you’ve been missing. On the other hand, if you have sampled this delicious italian dish, you know it’s impossible to forget. They go straight into your heart at the very first bite.
Doppiette di melanzane are a traditional main course from Sicily, more specifically from the city I was born: Messina. This indulging sunday dish is very similar to pasta alla norma. Despite the unusual name is nothing fussy, and requires only simple ingredients such as spaghetti, tomato sauce, cheese and eggplant. The pasta is cooked al dente and mixed with the sauce, then twisted into a nest and wrapped into a thin slice of aubergine. A few mins in the oven and there you go, Sicilian goodness delivered straight to your table with little if no effort at all.
Eggplant Spaghetti sandwiches have always been one of my favourite things in the world since I was a little girl. It was pretty ordinary for me to wake up on Sunday morning with the amazing smell of homemade tomato sauce coming out from the kitchen. I loved this dish so much that I would always help my mum in the prep, so that we could have lunch and enjoy the doppiette as soon as possible.
Back to these mouthwatering eggplant spaghetti sandwiches. Aubergine is of course the star of this dish, like in most of Sicilian traditional recipes. Usually, thin slices of eggplant are deep-fried until cooked-through but not overly crisp. If you opt for this method, make sure you let the slices drain on kitchen paper to absorb as much oil as possible. For a much healthier version, I usually brush the slices with olive oil and bake them instead. For both version, I recommend you drain the eggplant slices from their water first. Put them in a colander and sprinkle with a little salt, cover with a plate then put a weight on top. This process will make them sweat off their water, so that you don’t end up with soggy slices when baking/frying them.
Once your eggplant slices are ready, it really doesn’t get easier than that. Cook the spaghetti al dente, then mix them up with a freshly made tomato sauce.
Arrange some sauce on the bottom of a baking dish, and arrange the cooked eggplant slices on top. With the help of a fork and spoon, twist up a little amount of spaghetti and arrange it on the slice. Sprinkle few cubes of mozzarella on top and fold the eggplant over the pasta, like a blanket. Repeat the process until you finish all slices.
Add some extra sauce on top, sprinkle with mozzarella and Parmesan cheese and bake for 10 mins.
There you go, your delicious Eggplant Spaghetti Sandwiches are all ready – Grab as many doublets you manage and stuff them all up in your mouth! At least, that’s how I like them ;).
These tasty sandwiches never fail to impress guests, and will make a showstopping main to serve at your next party. With Easter just a few days away, I already know I’m gonna make plenty of those!
I hope you guys will give these awesome eggplant spaghetti sandwiches a try! Don’t forget to leave a comment below and let me know how you liked them! Even better, snap a picture, tag it #thepetitecook and share it on Instagram – I can’t wait to see all your delicious creations :).
- 300gr /10oz spaghetti
- 3 cups/750ml homemade tomato sauce
- a handful of fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
- 2 medium eggplants, cut vertically into slices
- Vegetable olive oil, for frying
- 1 mozzarella, drained and finely cubed
- ½ cup parmesan cheese
- Freshly ground sea salt and black pepper
- Preheat the oven at 200C/400F degrees.
- Drain the eggplant slices from their water first. Put them in a colander and sprinkle with a little salt, cover with a plate then put a weight on top for 20 min.
- In the meantime, in a pan of lightly salt boiling water cook the spaghetti al dente, 3-4 minutes before the time indicated by the box. Drain and transfer into a large bowl.
- Pour in ⅔ of the tomato sauce, a bunch of fresh basil and mix with spaghetti until combined.
- Put plenty of oil in a pan over medium heat. When hot enough, fry the slices in batches ( do not overcrowd the pan), until golden but not overly crisp.
- Drain eggplant slices on kitchen paper and set aside.
- Spread a little tomato sauce over the base of a baking dish. Arrange a forkful of spaghetti over a slice of eggplant, sprinkle with mozzarella and fold it as a blanket. Transfer the "sandwich" into the baking dish and repeat with remaining slices.
- Pour the remaining sauce over the top of your eggplant sandwiches, sprinkle with cheese and remaining mozzarella.
- Bake in the oven for 10 mins, until crispy.
- Season with freshly ground black pepper, decorate with basil leaves and serve immediately!