Aubergines a la Turque

Stuffed with a spicy mixture of meat and rice and served with a thick tomato sauce, Aubergines a la Turque (oh-bair-jeen ah lah toork) is an easy-to-make supper dish. aubergines

2 teaspoons salt

1 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, chopped

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 lb. minced lamb

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper grated rind of

1 lemon

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

4 oz. cooked rice juice of

1 lemon

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 onion, minced garlic clove, crushed

1 teaspoon dried basil

14 oz. canned peeled Italian tomatoes 2 teaspoon salt

First make the sauce. In a small saucepan, over moderate heat, fry the onion in the oil until golden brown. Add the garlic and basil and fry for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and salt. Stir well and bring to the boil. Cover, lower the heat and simmer for 1 hour, or until the sauce has thickened. Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon, mashing the tomatoes with the back of the spoon.

Wash the aubergines and, with a sharp knife, cut them in half lengthways right through the stalk. Scoop out the pulp, but be careful not to damage the shells. Sprinkle the inside of the shells with a little salt. Place them upside down on a plate and set aside. Put the pulp in a bowl and set aside.

Heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying-pan over high heat. Add the onion, lower the heat and fry until golden brown. Add the garlic and fry for 1 minute. Add the meat and brown it thoroughly. Add the aubergine pulp, parsley, cayenne pepper, grated lemon rind, salt and pepper. Stir to mix, lower the heat, cover and simmer for 25 minutes. Stir in the boiled rice and mix well.

Preheat the oven to fairly hot 375°F (Gas Mark 5, 190°C). Wipe the aubergine shells with kitchen paper towels. Brush them liberally all over with the remaining olive oil and place them in a large baking dish. Fill them with the meat-and-rice mixture. Sprinkle a little lemon juice over the top and bake for 40 minutes, or until the shells are cooked and the top brown.

Serve with the tomato sauce.

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