An heirloom variety with large oval fruits. The skin is a striking mix of purple and white stripes with firm and well flavoured flesh. Performs best in areas with a long warm growing season. The thin skin does not need to be peeled for cooking.
Scoop the flesh from the eggplant halves, leaving a 1cm-thick border. Set aside. Reserve scooped out center for the bolognaise sauce.
Panfry the mince in 1 tbs of oil over medium-high heat. Set aside.
Heat the remaining oil in the pan over medium heat. Add the celery, carrot, onion, reserved eggplant and garlic and cook, stirring, for 10 minutes or until vegetables soften.
Add the mince, tomato, tomato paste, wine, bay leaves, thyme and oregano and stir until well combined. Cover and bring to a gentle simmer. Simmer stirring occasionally, for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 180°C.
Uncover and cook for a further 10 minutes or until sauce thickens slightly. Remove from heat. Remove the bay leaves, oregano and thyme sprigs. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Spoon the bolognaise mixture evenly among the eggplant cavities. Place the stuffed eggplant in a large baking dish or roasting pan. Drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake in oven for 1 hour or until eggplant is tender. Sprinkle with cherry tomatoes, parmesan and basil leaves and serve.