Eggplant Italiania

Cindy d'Aquin-Pike


This is a recipe that was handed down to me by my former father in law. He was Sicilian, and this was a traditional dish that was served primarily during Lent. We love it so much that we don't just limit it to Lent; it is a year round dish! Don't let some of the ingredients be off putting. It really comes together, making a robust and filling meal.


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1 Hr
1 Hr
Stove Top


  • 2 medium
  • 2 medium
    onions-coarsely chopped
  • 1 bunch
    scallions (green and white part)-chopped
  • 3 stick
    celery and leaves-finely diced
  • 1 can(s)
    large black olives-drained
  • 1/4 c
  • 1 jar(s)
    artichoke hearts-drained
  • 8 oz
    fresh mushrooms-quartered
  • 2 can(s)
    stewed tomatoes, italian-style
  • 3 small
    roma tomatoes-coarsely chopped
  • 6-8 clove
    garlic-roughly chopped
  • 2 large
    bay leaves
  • 5 dash(es)
    powdered garlic
  • 5 dash(es)
    red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 large
    red pepper-coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 c
    raw rice
  • 4 Tbsp
    extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 bunch
    fresh basil-chopped
  • 1 lb
    raw peeled deveined shrimp (optional)
  • 1 small

How to Make Eggplant Italiania


  1. Wash eggplant. Chop into cubes and toss with salt. This will draw any bitterness out of the eggplant. Set aside to drain. It will get very watery, but will not affect the final texture of the dish.
  2. In a large, heavy bottomed stock pot heat the oil and sauté all of the onions, celery and red pepper until wilted.
  3. Rinse the salt off of the eggplant, and drain well in a colander. Add the drained eggplant and fresh garlic to the onion mix. Saute for about five minutes, stirring frequently. The heat should be medium-low. Add tomatoes, olives, capers, drained artichoke hearts, bay leaves and seasonings.
  4. Cover and cook until the eggplant is almost tender.
  5. Remove cover. If the addition of shrimp is desired, add it now. Fold the veggies and shrimp together. Move the mixture to the outside of the pot, and add the rice to the center where the liquid pools.
  6. Cover the rice with the shrimp/veggie mixture, and cover the pot. Cook on low until the rice is tender. Just before serving, add the chopped basil. You can also crush the leaves between your fingers to release the oils.
  7. My family loves garlic, so I usually add powdered garlic at this point to taste. Add salt and pepper to taste. The red pepper flakes are optional, and can be adjusted to suit your taste.
  8. Whist this is a wonderful dish the same day that it is prepared, it is even better the following day. It keeps well for several days when prepared with the shrimp, and for a week when prepared without the shrimp.
  9. ****Measure out the liquid from the tomatoes. You want to have 1 1/2 cups of liquid for the rice. Add water or veggie broth if needed to equal the 1 1/2 cups.
  10. This dish is not going to be a dry one; it will still be fairly moist. Get out the French bread to sop up all of those great juices!
  11. If anchovies are your thing, add them when you add the shrimp and omit the salt.

Printable Recipe Card

About Eggplant Italiania

Course/Dish: Other Main Dishes
Main Ingredient: Vegetable
Regional Style: Italian
Other Tags: Healthy, Heirloom

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