Mulignane a fungetiello – fried and stewed aubergines from Napoli

melanzane a funghetto

“Mulignane a fungetiello” is Neapolitan dialect for the Italian “melanzane a funghetto”, which means “aubergines mushroom-style” and it is one of the most popular, traditional and best ways of cooking aubergines: the aubergines are either shallow or deep fried and are then stewed with garlic (never onion) and either parsley or basil or oregano or mint; one could also make the dish a little richer by adding tomatoes, capers and black olives, but I prefer the basic version where the aubergine is allowed to shine. The aubergines are called “a funghetto/mushroom-style” because they are cooked in the way mushrooms are commonly prepared in Italy (quickly fried in oil, garlic and, generally, parsley) and also because they indeed end up resembling cooked mushrooms – little bronzed morsels glistening with oil and  speckled with green, herbal flakes. Continue reading “Mulignane a fungetiello – fried and stewed aubergines from Napoli”

Caponata di melanzane col cioccolato (Sicilian aubergine, celery, olive and bitter chocolate come stew come relish)

Aubergine caponata

Caponata is another hallmark of Sicilian cooking: a sweet and sour dish of deep fried aubergines and celery, simmered in tomato sauce, with sultanas, olives, capers, bitter chocolate  and sprinkled with toasted pine nuts or almonds: it id munificent and delicious, tasting exotic and complex. Continue reading “Caponata di melanzane col cioccolato (Sicilian aubergine, celery, olive and bitter chocolate come stew come relish)”

Mulinciani‘mbuttunati (Buttoned up aubergines, a.k.a stuffed Sicilian aubergines)

Stuffed aubergines img_0892A delicious, “culinary joke” from Sicily. Mulinciani ‘mbuttunati is a typical summer dish of whole aubergines cooked in tomato sauce, with a twist though. A deep slit is made into the aubergine belly (turning it into a “button hole”) and the usual suspects of much Southern Italian cooking are inserted into it, garlic, pecorino cheese, basil/mint (the “buttons”). Here you have it: buttoned up aubergines!

Continue reading “Mulinciani‘mbuttunati (Buttoned up aubergines, a.k.a stuffed Sicilian aubergines)”