In this post, you’ll get a delicious mortadella and pecorino Italian stuffed eggplant recipe.

It is a traditional eggplant recipe from Puglia, the heel of Italy.

Stuffed eggplant recipe with ham #gourmetproject
Stuffed eggplant Italian recipe with ham #gourmetproject

This Italian stuffed eggplant recipe comes from Puglia: it’s called “barchette di melanzane”, stuffed eggplant boats.

These Italian style stuffed eggplant are quite easy to make: once you’ve cut eggplant in two and cooked them a few minutes in a pan with olive oil and water, you only have to carve them and mix the pulp with the other blended ingredients. 

A bit of tomato paste, a few minutes in the oven and voila, dinner is ready! You have veggies, proteins and carbs (if you serve them with toasted Italian bread!).

You can substitute pecorino with Parmesan, and mortadella with ham.

Italian stuffed eggplant

Stuffed eggplant recipe with tomato, breadcrumbs, pecorino or Parmesan, and mortadella or ham.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 2 people
Calories 395 kcal
Author Claudia Rinaldi


  • 2 eggplant
  • 2 slices of mortadella
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato passata
  • 1/2 garlic clove
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons of breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons of grated pecorino cheese + 1-2 teaspoons
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt


  1. Divide the eggplant in two and slice them with a knife, diagonally, in both directions. Go deep, almost to the peel. Sprinkle every half with a pinch of salt.

  2. In a large and tall pan heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1/4 cup of water.
  3. Add the eggplant, open side down, cover and cook until fork tender.

  4. Remove from heat and bring to room (or manageabltemperature. Scoop out the pulp with a spoon; try not to rip the peel (that will contain the stuffing). Collect the pulp in a medium bowl.
  5. Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).
  6. In a food processor blend the parsley, the mortadella, the breadcrumbs, and two tablespoons of pecorino cheese. Pour everything into the eggplant pulp bowl, add the egg and mix thoroughly.
  7. Place the eggplant peels in a medium/small casserole (lined with parchment paper), fill them with the stuffing, dividing it equally between the four halves.
  8. In a small bowl, mix the tomato passata with a teaspoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt.
  9. Pour the passata on top of the stuffed eggplant. Sprinkle them with the remaining pecorino and bake them 40-50 minutes, until you see a tiny crust formed on the borders.

Recipe Notes

Serve the eggplant hot or room temperature.


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Enjoy your stuffed eggplant!


this is a recipe from the SIMPOSIO book series

The Italian stuffed eggplant is a recipe from Lecce’s Simposio. You’ll find many other, Puglia recipes and lots of Lecce stories, traditions, and photographs.