This is a typical dish from Messina which incorporates so many of the fresh ingredients of Sicilian cuisine. Recipes in Sicily vary so much by cities and regions and Vitina told me that despite visiting her family in Sicily so many times, this was the first time she ever experienced this dish. Her family is from the Eastern side and the food is different!
On a recent trip to Sicily, Stefano & Vitina met Genni in Messina who opened up her kitchen & introduced them to 'eggplant doublets' which can be described as eggplant spaghetti sandwiches covered in rich tomato sauce, cheese and fresh basil. Genni loves to cook, the family used to own a restaurant and a wine store and she is an experienced sommelier so she knew exactly which wines to pair with this meal.
Here is Genni's recipe and be sure to watch her in the video, she is so much fun in the kitchen. Just so you know ... Italians don't measure their ingredients and Genni was no exception, all I can say is that they are very generous and like to be abundant in the kitchen!
You'll see in the video that Genni made 2 layers in one dish. She was cooking for her whole family and ovens are a lot smaller in Sicily. If you're cooking for a large group, you can do the same or just make 2 separate dishes. If you make the 2 layers just be sure to use parchment paper to separate the layers and not wax paper!
We love this recipe because it contains our favorite pasta with a healthy, seasonal vegetable that is perfect for Fall. We add in lots of raw garlic which certainly adds to the flavor of the dish but it also boosts your immune system which is so important during the change of seasons.