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macaroni with eggplant
Sicilian Macaroni with Eggplant (with chickens' hearts, livers, and tomato paste)
Originated from: Sicily
Occasion: Any time
Contributed by: Taken from "Simple Italian Cookery," by Antonia Isola (Harper and Brothers, 1912)

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One eggplant
Chickens' hearts and livers
Two tablespoons of butter
Two tablespoons of tomato paste, thinned with hot water (or a corresponding amount of tomato sauce)

Lard for frying

Three-quarters of a pound of macaroni

For topping
Three tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese


"Slice one eggplant and put it under a weighted plate to extract the bitter juices. Then fry the slices delicately in lard. Make a ragout of chickens' hearts and livers as follows: Put two tablespoons of butter into a saucepan, fry the hearts and livers, and when cooked add two tablespoons of tomato paste, thinned with hot water (or a corresponding amount of tomato sauce). Cook for fifteen minutes. Prepare three-quarters of a pound of macaroni, boiled and drained, then put it into the saucepan with the hearts and livers, add the eggplant and three tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese. Mix well together and serve."


This recipe was taken from "Simple Italian Cookery" written by Antonia Isola (pen name for Mabel Earl McGinnis) and published in English in the United States by Harper and Brothers in 1912. It is believed to be the first American cookbook that contains Italian recipes. For the complete cookbook see www.archive.org. P.S.It is not clear in Isola's cookbook what is meant by "macaroni." Nowadays, the word generally refers to short pasta, but it seems this was not the case in the early part of the 20th century. In one of the recipes ["Macaroni with Tomato Sauce, page 9] in the section of Isola's cookbook that is entitled "Macaroni and Other Pastas" the cookbook author tells the home cook "to break the macaroni" suggesting that the word, "macaroni," refers to long pasta, very likely vermicelli, as the other long pastas such as spaghetti or fettuccine ("ribbon macaroni") are identified by name. While she also has specific recipes for "vermicelli," still she refers to this style of pasta as being "ordinary" macaroni which might indicate that "vermicelli" is a synonym for macaroni, but it's hard to say..... Photo: Mary Melfi.

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