Now that the rabbit has been taken care of, I turn to all those eggplants lined up in rows in my refrigerator. With the cost of vegetables going up and up, I certainly can't let them go to waste. So I open my "Ricettario della cucina regionale italiana" prepared by the Accademia Italiana della Cucina -- always an interesting place to start.
I discover what I already knew -- eggplants have their heritage in the South. The recipes all come from Sicily, Basilicata, Campania, Puglia and the Marche and they are rich, very rich with lots of frying in lots of oil. The recipes are listed in their Italian names, with subtitles in dialect and an indication of the area within the region which is home to the original recipe -- talk about "campanalismo".
Here they are:
Melanzane a barchetta from Puglia,
Melanzane a beccafico (Mirlinciano a beccaficu) from Sicily (Enna),
Melanzane a funghetto (Mulignane a fungetiello) from Campania (Naples),
Melanzane al forno from Basilicata,
Melanzane alla finetese (Milangiane a ra finitisi), Melanzane alla menta (Milangiane a menta). and Melanzane dai cento sapori (Milangiane a ri cientu sapori) all from Calabria,
Melanzane ripiene (Lumengiaine chiaine) from Puglia (Brindisi),
Melanzane sotto'aceto (Mulinciani a scapici) also from Calabria, and finally Melanzane sott'olio from the Marche.
And you thought there was only melanzane alla parmigiana! Instead, to each region, its eggplant. All joined in hot oil.
I may have to try the Melanzane a beccafico: melanzane, pecorino fresco, acciughe salate, uova, basilico e sale, fried of course....followed by a long run.