Stufato Di Melanzane

Stufato Di Melanzane is an eggplant stew using what I would consider traditional Sicilian ingredients. I would usually steer away from recipes that have cooked sulatanas in them but I love using aubergines in different ways. This made a generous portion which was used not only for lunch, but with pasta for supper.

Stufato Di Melanzane
Stufato Di Melanzane
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As children, we never grew up with the tradition of Halloween, and it was something I associated with America and trick-or-treating. But, this celebration has made its way to South Africa, and so I decided to learn more about it. Halloween is a contraction from the words All Hallow’s Eve. This is celebrated the night before the Christian holy day of All Saints’ Day. And in turn is followed by All Souls’ Day on the 2nd of November. The three days collectively are known as Allhallowtide and the days are set aside for Christians to honour the saints. As well as to pray for the recently departed souls who have yet to reach Heaven. The modern traditions have their origins as far back as the 12th Century. Trick-or-treating seems to have originated when poor children went door-to-door. They were given soul cakes in exchange for praying for the dead.

Today’s inspirational recipe from Lavender and Lime ♥ Stufato Di Melanzane ♥ #LavenderAndLime Share on X

And then along came the jack-o’-lantern, a hollowed out turnip representing the souls of the dead. Today this would be the carved out pumpkins placed on the porches and at front doors. The last of the traditions is that of costume wearing. It was believed that the souls of the dead wandered the earth until All Saints’ Day. And if they wished to cause vengeance to their enemies they would do so on All Hallows’ Eve. People would wear masks and/or costumes to that they would not be recognized. It is possible that many Halloween traditions may have been influenced by Celtic harvest festivals, particularly the Gaelic festival Samhain. Regardless of how you look at it, Halloween has a rich history, dating back many centuries. And is something fun for the children to do, no matter their beliefs.

Stufato Di Melanzane


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5 from 1 vote

Stufato Di Melanzane

This eggplant stew has a very Sicilian feel to it
Recipe Category: Italian, Vegetarian
Makes enough for: 4 people
All Rights Reserved: An original recipe from Lavender and Lime


  • 95 mls olive oil, divided
  • 500 g aubergines, cut into large cubes
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to season
  • 2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely sliced
  • 400 g tinned chopped tomatoes
  • 150 mls red wine
  • 30 mls tomato paste
  • 15 g sultanas
  • 70 g pitted olives
  • 45 mls balsamic vinegar
  • 15 mls capers, drained
  • 25 g pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • 15 g fresh basil, leaves picked and roughly chopped
  • focaccia to serve


  • Place 80mls of the oil into a large, deep saucepan and heat over a medium temperature
  • Add the aubergines, season with salt and fry, stirring occasionally, until the oil has soaked in and the aubergines are golden brown
  • Remove and set aside
  • Add the rest of the oil to the pan and when hot, add the shallots, season with salt, lower the temperature and sauté until soft
  • Add the garlic and cook until fragrant
  • Add the aubergines and reheat then add the tomatoes
  • Season generously with salt and pepper then add the wine, sultanas and tomato paste
  • Stir to combine, cover and simmer for 45 minutes
  • Remove the lid, and add the olives, vinegar and capers
  • Adjust the seasoning, increase the temperature and cook with the lid off for 10 minutes
  • Turn the heat off, add the pine nuts and basil and stir in before serving with focaccia
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16 thoughts on “Stufato Di Melanzane

  1. Good! Thank you! Have not made this for a few years . . . do not even know where my recipe is hiding itself so shall follow yours religiously! Off the screen it is definitely saying ‘Yes’ ! Halloween – oddly enough I have just recently read up on it also receiving rather a surprise ’cause I thought its background American! I am probably being quite horrid but I have never liked ought about it and I don’t believe there is a change of mind in sight! Would not allow any children of whom I was in charge to go trick-and-treating anyways for more than one reason . . . yes, I know > horrid me !!!

  2. Hi Tandy, I really like the sound of this recipe. I like egg plant. WRT Halloween, I am surprised at your comments about this celebration having arrived in SA. I don’t see a single sign of Halloween anywhere in Johannesburg.

    1. I think that maybe your children are too old? The younger kids seem to be more involved in partaking, especially in gated communities as far as I can see 🙂

  3. Tandy, this recipe looks amazing ! I think I love everything that is in it!! Can’t wait to try this one! Great photo in that adorable bowl too!

  4. Well I learned a bit about Halloween today! We just have a fun day dressing up and the kids take about a month prior to to fuss over their costumes, LOL. But I am always looking for new and exciting ways to use eggplant, grow it and love it!

  5. I love eggplant, but I’ve never heard of / tried this stew – need to make some! I’ve also recently discovered the combination of sultanas and pine nuts (which I guess quite common for Sicilian cuisine), and I’ve loved it!

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