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Aubergine and Onion Gnocchi

November 5, 2009  |  Equipment  |  1 Comment

This is definitely a Casino recipe, as opposed to most of the others I have posted so far which could be made with things from any of the local markets. But you have to go to Casino from time to time. Where else will you randomly run into every expat you know on a Saturday afternoon? You will still need to stop by your favorite vegetable stand too. No need to pay 5000fcfa for an eggplant. Plus, it is always good to stay in touch. After being away for a few weeks the woman from my usual vegetable stand chased after me in the street one day to ask why I had stopped buying tomatoes.

This became one of my default meals when cooking at home, which, when coupled daily lunches of thieboudienne, explains why I did not lose weight during my second year in Senegal like I did during my first.


  • 1 large eggplant
  • 2 or 3 medium red onions, sliced into half-rings.
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 package of bacon pieces. I guess about 8 ounces.
  • 1 pint of heavy cream
  • 1 pound of gnocchi
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Olive oil for frying
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Set a pot of salted water to boil and put a large frying pan over high heat. Slice the eggplant into 1/2 inch (1cm) thick slabs. Fry the eggplant in a liberal amount of olive oil until they are dark brown on both sides. You can tell when they are cooked, because in the first few minutes they will soak up all the oil in the pain, and when they are ready they will release back most of it.

Remove the eggplant and set aside. Into the still-hot pan, throw the onions. Move them around a lot and let them start to cook down. When they get a bit of color on them, move them to the edges of the pan and throw the bacon in. You don’t want it to steam, so make sure the onions give it room.

While the bacon is cooking, chop the cooked eggplant into 1cm strips. When the bacon is cooked and the onion is just starting to burn, add the eggplant back and pour in the cream. Also put the gnocchi in the water.

When the cream has thickened a bit, and the gnocchi has started to float, turn off all the burners. Add the cheese and the drained gnocchi to the onion and eggplant mixture. Salt to taste, then add a lot of pepper!