Sunday, 24 March 2013

Born of the Spirit

Amalfi Coast is a beautiful coastal town in the region of Campania, Italy. Quite near to Naples, it was once a popular holiday destination for the upper class British and aristocracy. It is also a UNESCO world heritage site.
Two years ago, I was on a two weeks holiday in Italy and traveling mainly in the Tuscany region and up north to Torino, a piedmont region and on to Lugano,the Italian speaking part of Switzerland. The highlights of the holiday are mainly food and historical sites. Every pizzas, pastas, risottos and gelatos always tasted the best, very rustic and comfortable food.  There  are 20 regions, which with its own characteristics. Every regions and every towns and every villages makes the same dish in vastly different ways.

The region of Campania, where the stretch of Amalfi Coast is situated is also known as the most beautiful coast in the world. Campania region which is in the South of Italy is known for its pasta and pizza, and other exuberant cuisines of sun-kissed vegetables, herbs, mozzarella, sardines,anchovies and salty capers.
This Aubergine Amalfitane is one rustic food from this region which is good for appetizer or as a vegetarian main course. Do not leave out the anchovies and capers. These two give this dish a piquant taste and flavor of coastal food.

Aubergines Amalfitane
Delia Smith Vegetarian


3 medium aubergines (2 small)
3 tablespoons olive oil (2 tbsp)
1 onion, chopped (half)
1 large clove garlic, crushed
2 level tsps fresh chopped basil
6 drained anchovy fillets, chopped(2 pcs) 
175g mozzarella, cut into thin slices(shredded)
3 large tomatoes, sliced (2 small)
1 1/2 tablespoons capers, chopped (1 tablespoon, rinsed, whole)
salt and freshly milled black pepper (no salt)


  • Trim the green stalks from the aubergines and slice them in half lengthways. If you have a grapefruit knife use that, or otherwise use a teaspoon, to get out the pulpy centes of the aubergines, leaving a shell not less than 5 mm thick.(used paring knife and teaspoon) 
  • Sprinkle the shells liberally with salt and leave upside down to drain for 45 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, chop the pulp. Now heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a saucepan(1 tablespoon) and gently fry the onion until softened. Stir in the chopped aubergine pulp, crushed garlic and half the basil. Season with salt and pepper(pepper only) and cook over a low heat for 10 minutes, stirring now and then.
  • After this, stir in the chopped anchovies.
  • Next, preheat the oven to 180C, then wipe the aubergine shells with kitchen paper and arrange them in the roasting tin or baking dish. Spoon the onion/pulp mixture into the shells, then arrange alternate slices of cheese and tomato on top of each aubergine half and sprinkle with the chopped capers.(shredded cheese bottom and top, whole capers)

  • Finally, sprinkle with the remaining basil and dribble a little more olive oil over each .
  • Season and bake (only black pepper), uncovered, in the top of the oven for 40 minutes.(30 mins) 

Sunday School

Lesson was on Spiritual Birth. Bible Story was about Nicodemus, a Pharisee who visited Jesus at night because he did not want people to know he had met with Jesus. Nicodemus wanted to know the kingdom of God. Jesus answered him, "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."  John 3:3

To Nicodemus this new birth seems to be very strange, how can a grown up man be born of his mother again?  Jesus answered  that he need to be born of water and of the spirit. 
For in the Old Testament, Ezekiel 36:25-27 "I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws."

Jesus added in John 3:6 "Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit."
Flesh is the human nature, fallen under Adam. God is Spirit. We must become God's children to enter God's Kingdom.

Paper beads
Black is for Sin,  Red is for Blood,  White is for Forgiveness and new Life,  Blue is for heaven and eternal life and  Green is for growing up as Christian.

I am linking this post to Little Thumbs Up hosted by Zoe from Bake for happy kids and Doreen from 
My little favourite DIY. This post is also linked to Cook like a Star, hosted by Zoe from Bake for happykids Baby Sumo from Eat Your Heart Out and Mich from Piece of Cake.



  1. Hi Lian,

    Love the rustic flavours of this almost-vegetarian dish. The addition of anchovies sounds yummy :D


  2. I have this egg plant sitting in my refrigerator and this sounds delicious. I am not sure where to find anchovies fillet though so I may just leave that out and make it vegetarian.

  3. Mich, I bought the anchovies from NTUC finest. I have another Delia's recipe coming up, using anchovies and it is so simple and flavorful.

  4. Hi Lian, it's so nice that you are recreating food from your holiday memories. I always try to recreate a dish at home too if I find it delicious.

  5. Yes, baby Sumo. That makes holiday so exciting. My first stop in Paris was not sight and shop but taste. Pierre Hérme's macarons!

  6. Hi Lian,
    Anchovies and egg plant both I like.
    Thiis looks yum yum!
    I love to read the last part (about Jesus) in your every posts.
    Thanks for sharing : )


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