The Fusia/Fuscà Family  




Southern Italy's beloved eggplant deserves it's own section!

(Scroll down to see all the recipes)



Marion Fusca Orazi’s Christmas Eggplant Spread

This was always a special treat at Christmas from Mom Orazi…. I try to make it every year…. submitted by her daughter-in-law Michelle Orazi

1 stick of celery with leaf

2 large eggplants  

1 pound of pitted green olives

1 pound of black-pitted olives

1 chopped green pepper

1 small jar of capers

1/4 cup of sugar

1 1/2 quart of Cider Vinegar

Olive Oil


Chop celery and par boil it until half tender.  Skin and cube the eggplants.  Put the eggplant in a colander and salt heavily.  Let all the bitter juices run out for about 2 hours.  Put something heavy on top of the eggplant while it’s draining. 

In a large pot – the biggest one you own… Put 1/2 inch of olive oil.  Put the eggplant and capers, celery, olives, peppers, sugar into the hot oil and sauté 30 minutes.  Add the cider vinegar in a little at a time until you have all of it in the pot.  Let cook 1 hour or until most of the liquid has evaporated.  Taste to make sure the eggplant is soft enough for a spread.  

Put into canning jars.  Serve with crackers or coarse bread…its great!!!!!!!!


Eggplant Calabrese

1 large eggplant (about 1 1/2 lbs.)
2 teaspoons salt
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 medium tomatoes
1/3 cup onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic
8 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons Parmigiano cheese, freshly grated
Freshly ground pepper

Slice the eggplant, sprinkle with salt and let drain for 1 hour.
Rinse with water and pat dry. 

Heat broiler.

Place eggplant slices on a broiler pan and brush with olive oil. 

Broil for 2 minutes on each side, until lightly browned. Continue until all eggplant slices are browned. Peel and
core tomatoes. Cut into 1/4 inch slices. 

Chop onion and sauté in olive oil for about 5 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350. 

Lightly oil a shallow baking dish and rub with garlic. Spread a single layer of eggplant in the baking dish.
Sprinkle with half of both cheeses. Arrange a layer of tomatoes and onion. Finish with any remaining slices of eggplant. Season with pepper. Sprinkle with remaining half of mozzarella and Parmesan

Bake in oven until top is lightly browned, about 20 to 25 minutes.



2 medium sized eggplants 

1/2 cup of olive oil

2 cups of celery, sliced thin

3/4 cup of onions, chopped
1/3 cup of red wine vinegar, mixed with 1 tablespoon of sugar
2 cups of drained canned Italian plum or whole pack tomatoes - chopped
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
7  large  green olives, slivered  (use the good ones from an Italian market not grocery store green olives in brine)

2 tablespoons of capers - rinsed
2 tablespoons of pine nuts - toasted

salt and ground pepper to taste

Cut eggplant into ½ - 1 inch cubes.  Sprinkle cubes of eggplant with salt and set them in a colander in the sink to drain. After 30 minutes, rinse them and pat dry with paper towels and set them aside.  Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in heavy skillet, add celery and onions and cook over moderate heat, stirring frequently for 10 minutes until celery and onions are soft and lightly colored. With slotted spoon transfer to bowl.

Pour remaining 1/4 cup oil in skillet and over high heat saute the eggplant in it, stirring and turning about 8-10 minutes until they are lightly browned but not mushy.

Return celery and onion to skillet, stirring in vinegar and sugar, the tomatoes, tomato paste, green olives and capers and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, stirring for 10-15 minutes.

Take off heat and let cool.

Stir in pine nuts.

 Serve at room temperature.

*** You can also throw in a handful of golden raisins and use a little less sugar. Maybe add a little fresh basil too towards the end.

Caponata with Pasta

Classic southern Italian dish. This tastes best served slightly warm or room temperature but not hot.
Great as a as a side dish or on bruschetta. And with pasta here (rigatoni or orecchiette work well)

2  tablespoon  balsamic vinegar,
2  tablespoon  basil, chopped
1  tablespoon  capers, chopped
1/4  cup  dry white wine,
1  large eggplant, cut into 1 " dice
3  teaspoon  garlic, minced
2  teaspoon  kosher salt, or to taste
2  tablespoon  olive oil,
4  slices of pancetta - 1/4 " thick, diced
1  tablespoon  parsley, chopped
4  plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/4  teaspoon  red chili pepper flakes, or to taste
1  small red onion, chopped
1/4  teaspoon  rosemary, chopped, or to taste
1 tablespoon toasted pine nuts  1/2 cup halved Sicilian green olives (not the ones in brine with pimentos)
   1/2  cup  water

Place a large pot of salted water on to boil for the pasta. Sprinkle the eggplant with three-fourths of the Kosher salt. Let drain for a bout a half hour. 

Place a large nonstick pan over medium heat and when it is hot, add the eggplant. Cook until the eggplant is golden brown on all sides, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the eggplant from the pan, drain on paper towels, and set aside.   

Reheat the sauté pan. Add the oil and pancetta; cook over medium-high heat until golden brown, about 7 minutes. Add in the onion and cook 1 minute. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more.   

Add the cooked eggplant, capers, olives, tomatoes, wine, water, pepper flakes, and the remaining salt, stirring well after each addition. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the eggplant is very soft and the caponata has a thick consistency, about 15 minutes.

Begin cooking the pasta; cook al dente, about 12 minutes. Drain and keep warm.

After cooking, finish the caponata with vinegar, basil, parsley, rosemary, and scallions. Allow to cool for 10 to 15 minutes before serving over the cooked pasta.


Grilled Eggplant and Mozzarella

1 large eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch (1 cm) slices
1/2 cup (125 ml) olive oil
3 Tbs (45 ml) balsamic or red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp (5 ml) dried oregano
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
6 oz (175 g) mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced

Sprinkle both sides of the eggplant slices lightly with salt and place between layers of paper towels.  Let stand for 1 to 2 hours, rinse, and pat dry.  

Combine the olive oil, vinegar, garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper.  

Place the eggplant slices on a grill over moderate heat and baste with the oil mixture.  Turn and baste frequently until lightly browned, about 8 minutes.  Top each slice with a slice of cheese and grill an additional 2 minutes, until the cheese begins to melt.  

Serves 4 to 6.


Eggplant "Pasta"


2 medium-large eggplants
4+  tablespoons olive oil
3 - 5 cloves of garlic, chopped

1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
4 small tomatoes, seeded and chopped (or canned Progresso whole Romas))
1/2 cup cream
About 1 cup worth of torn fresh basil leaves

½  cup freshly grated Romano cheese - don’t use that stuff in the green cans  : )


Freshly ground pepper


Slice the eggplant thinly lengthwise, about 1/4-inch thick slabs. Sprinkle each slice with salt and put them in a colander in the sink for about 30 minutes. Rinse with cold water and lay out on paper towels to drain.


Slice the eggplant pieces lengthwise into thin strips to resemble pasta. 

In a large sauté pan heat the olive oil. Add the garlic and chili flakes and sauté for a couple minutes. Add the eggplant and toss to coat. Add the tomatoes and cook for 3 minutes. Add the cream and increase heat to thicken sauce. Finally add the basil and Romano cheese and toss to combine. Season with pepper - no salt needed as the eggplant will have residual salt from earlier. Serve immediately.


Eggplant Rolls filled with Basil and Cheese 

For the tomato sauce:

1 onion, chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 small garlic clove, minced 

2 pounds tomatoes, chopped coarse

a pinch of sugar

For the eggplant rolls:

a 1-pound eggplant

1 cup diced buffalo mozzarella (about 1/4 pound)

3 1/2 ounces (about 1/2 cup) mild, soft goat cheese such as
Montrachet, at room temperature

1/4 cup shredded fresh basil leaves

2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil

fresh basil leaves for garnish

Make the tomato sauce: In a heavy skillet cook the onion in the oil over moderately low heat, stirring, for 3 minutes, stir in the
garlic, and cook the mixture, stirring, until the onion is softened.

Add the tomatoes, the sugar, and salt to taste and cook the mixture over moderate heat, stirring, for 20 minutes. Force the mixture through the fine disk of a food mill set over a saucepan and cook the sauce over moderately high heat for 5 to 10 minutes, or until it is thickened to the desired consistency.

Make the eggplant rolls: With a hand-held slicing device or large sharp knife cut the eggplant lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices.
Sprinkle the slices on both sides with salt and let them drain in a colander for 30 minutes.

In a bowl stir together the buffalo mozzarella, the goat cheese, and the shredded basil. Pat the eggplant dry, arrange one layer of it on the oiled rack of a broiler pan, and brush it with some of the oil.

Broil the eggplant under a preheated broiler about 4 inches from the heat for 3 to 4 minutes, or until it is golden. Turn the eggplant, brush it with some of the remaining oil, and broil it for 3 to 4 minutes more, or until it is golden.

Transfer the eggplant to a large platter to cool and broil the remaining eggplant, brushing it with the remaining oil, in the same

Spread a mounded teaspoon of the cheese mixture lengthwise down the middle of each eggplant slice, leaving a 1-inch border at the wide end, and, beginning at the narrow end, roll up the eggplant jelly-roll fashion. Arrange the rolls, seam sides down, in an oiled flameproof shallow baking dish just large enough to hold them in one layer and broil them for 3 minutes, or until the cheese is just melted and bubbling.

Transfer the eggplant rolls with a spatula to serving plates, spoon the tomato sauce over them, and garnish the rolls with the basil

Makes about 12 rolls. Serving 4 as a first course or 6 as a side dish


Mauro's Eggplant Parmesan

1 eggplant
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
8 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces ricotta cheese
6 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano cheese
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
4 cups spaghetti sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Slice the eggplant into 3/4 to 1 inch thick slices. Sprinkle both sides of the eggplant slices with salt. Place the slices in a colander, place a dish underneath the colander to capture the liquid that will drain out of the eggplant. Allow the eggplant to sit for 30 minutes. Rinse the eggplant in cold water until all salt is removed.

In a medium to large size mixing bowl mix the ricotta, mozzarella cheese, and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Add the egg and basil, mix until well blended.

In a large skillet heat 4 tablespoons oil. Place one layer of eggplant in the pan, brown each side. Fry all of the eggplant slices, add the remaining oil if necessary.

In a 9x13 inch baking pan pour 1-1/2 cups of marinara sauce, spread evenly in the pan. Layer the eggplant slices on top of the sauce. Layer a portion of the mixture made in Step 3. Repeat layering process until all of
the eggplant and cheese mixture is used. Pour remaining sauce on top of layers and sprinkle remaining Parmigiano cheese of top of the sauce. 

Bake in a 350 degrees oven for 30-45 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling.

Makes 6 servings


Pasta with Eggplant, Roasted Peppers and Feta

We like to use red peppers for pasta sauce when tomatoes are out of season. The roasted peppers add plenty of extra flavor to the pasta sauce, although you can use fresh if short on time. This dish is so versatile it can be served warm or cold.

2  cup  dry red wine,
1  eggplant, medium-sized, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1  pound  farfalle pasta,
1/4  cup  feta cheese, crumbled
1  tablespoon  garlic clove, sliced thin
1/2  cup  loosely packed basil leaves, chopped coarse
4  tablespoon  olive oil,
2  roasted red bell peppers, skins and seeds removed, flesh chopped
5  thin slices prosciutto, cut into 1-inch squares
1/2  sweet onion, chopped

Put on a pot of salted water for the pasta. Meanwhile, heat half the oil in a small sauce pot. Stir in the onion, garlic, and red pepper. Cook slowly until the onions are wilted and soft, about 8 minutes. Add the wine and
simmer until half the original volume. Remove from heat and reserve. 

Add the pasta to the boiling water. While it cooks, heat the remaining oil in a sauté pan over high heat. Add the eggplant and prosciutto, stirring rapidly to coat evenly with oil. Sauté for about 8 minutes until the
eggplant is browned. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the pepper sauce and the feta and mix well.
3 Drain the pasta. Return the drained pasta to the pot and add the pepper sauce. Add the chopped basil, and mix well. 

Serve immediately.


Melangiane alla Palermitana - Eggplant Palermo-style

4 large eggplants
vegetable oil for deep-frying
freshly ground black pepper

Slice the eggplants lengthways, keeping them attached at the base. Cut each slice into thin strips.  Put them in a colander, sprinkle lightly with salt and leave to stand for about 1 hour. 

Rinse the eggplant under cold running water, then drain and dry thoroughly.  

Heat the oil in a deep-fryer until very hot, then deep-fry each eggplant separately until golden brown.  

Drain on paper towels and fry the remainder. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste
and serve immediately. 

Serves 4.


Eggplant, Tomato and Mozzarella SandwichPanino al Parmigiano

Here, the traditional ingredients for eggplant Parmigiano are used to make a tasty panino. For a lighter version, grill rather than sauté the eggplant. The sandwich is delicious made while the eggplant is still warm. You can also marinate the sautéed eggplant with a bit of minced garlic, a few chopped basil leaves and a splash of balsamic vinegar, allowing you to assemble the panino another day.

1 eggplant
2 tablespoons olive oil
Focaccia with coarse salt or focaccia with red onion
1 tomato, sliced
2 thin slices Vidalia onion or other sweet onion
3 oz (90 g) fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
3 or 4 fresh basil leaves
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano cheese

Trim the ends from the eggplant and thinly slice crosswise. Discard the end slices that are covered on one side with skin. In a sauté pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the eggplant and cook, turning once, until tender and golden, 5-7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain.

Slice the focaccia in half horizontally. Lay the bottom half, cut side up, on a cutting board. Arrange the eggplant slices on the bottom half. Top evenly with the tomato, onion and mozzarella slices
and the basil leaves. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle the Parmesan evenly over the top. Place the other half of the focaccia on top, cut side down, and press down
firmly with the palm of your hand. Cut the panino in half or in quarters for easier eating and serve.

Makes 1 sandwich


Spaghetti and Eggplant

For the eggplant:
2 medium eggplants
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves
1/2 lemon, juiced
6 fresh basil leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the spaghetti:
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
1 fresh red chili pepper, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup Kalamata olives, pitted
1/2 bunch fresh basil leaves
3 (28-ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes, drained and hand-crushed
Pinch sugar
1 tablespoon capers
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound spaghetti
1/2 cup freshly grated pecorino cheese

Heat a grill pan over medium heat. Slice the eggplants into 1/4-inch rounds. Toss them with 1/4 cup olive oil and some salt and pepper. Grill them until marks have formed and they are soft, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Place them onto a paper towel lined platter. Scatter over 2 cloves of sliced garlic, drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the lemon juice, put on a few torn basil leaves, and season it all with salt and pepper. Set aside while you make the sauce.

Coat a large sauté pan with olive oil and place over medium heat. Cook the onions until they are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the chili, garlic, olives and a few hand-torn basil leaves. Carefully add the tomatoes and a pinch of sugar; cook and stir until the liquid is cooked down and the sauce is thick, about 15 minutes. Add the capers, taste, and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Lower the heat, cover, and keep warm.

Boil the  spaghetti until it is al dente – 6 to 8 minutes. Drain and add the spaghetti to the tomato sauce. Pile onto a platter and top it with the eggplant slices. Garnish with more basil leaves and cheese.  


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Stuffed Eggplant