Vivaldi's Eggplant and Italian Sausage Casserole
PREP TIME: 2 Hours


Antonio Vivaldi was born on March 4, 1678 in Italy. His father was a barber and was apparently a fine violin player. Vivaldi took up the violin and soon, became a better player than his father and by age 25 was teaching music. Throughout Italy, during this period, eggplant was showing up in many dishes and with the combination of sweet Italian sausage, made a casserole that tastes like the violin sounded.


  • 4 large eggplants, peeled and sliced 1/4-in thick
  • 2 lbs Italian sausage
  • 1/4 cup virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups onions, diced
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 1 cup bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup garlic, chopped
  • 4 (8 oz) cans tomato sauce
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 tsps garlic powder
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup pimento olives, chopped
  • 4 hard boiled eggs, sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Sprinkle salt over eggplant slices and place in a large colander with a weight on top to help squeeze water from the eggplant. Let drain for 1 hour. In a heavy 5-qt dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Remove 1 lb of the Italian sausage from the casing and brown in oil as you would ground meat. When brown add onions, celery, bell pepper and garlic. Blend well into the sausage mixture. Saute 3 to 5 minutes. Add tomato sauce, water and season lightly with salt and pepper. Bring to a rolling boil, reduce to simmer and cook 45 minutes. Rinse the eggplant slices under water and pat dry, brush with olive oil and place on a cookie sheet and bake for approximately 30 minutes to tenderize, but do not allow to fall apart. When tomato sauce is ready, place a ladle of sauce in the bottom of a 9 x 13 casserole dish. Cover with a layer of eggplant and sprinkle with a small amount of cheese, olives and boiled eggs. Continue layering until all is used up to create a lasagne-type casserole. Pour any excess sauce on top of the casserole and surround with remaining Italian sausage cut in 1-in links and top with remaining Parmesan. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.

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