Eggplant Parmigiana – Melanzane Alla Parmigiana

Eggplant Parmigiana – Melanzane Alla Parmigiana

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Ingredients:
Extra-virgin olive oil
2 large eggplants (aubergines)
2 cups tomato and basil sauce*
1 bunch fresh basil leaves or dry (powdered) basil leaves
1 cup fresh mozzarella sliced or shredded
1 cup fresh low-fat feta cheese
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
2 tsp rock or coarse salt

Tomato & Basil Sauce:
4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
½ white onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
3 tbsp chopped fresh (or dry) basil leaves
1 Kg peeled whole tomatoes, crushed by hand and juices reserved – Strain crushed tomatoes to remove seeds
Pinch of salt

Tomato & Basil Sauce Method:
1. In a pan, wok or saucepan, heat 2 tbsp olive oil over medium heat.
2. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until softened, about 4 to 6 minutes.
3. Add the stained tomato juice (purée) and bring to a boil, stirring often. Add olive oil and basil leaves.
4. Lower the heat and simmer for 20 – 25 minutes until reduced forming a slightly thick tomato sauce.
5. Season with salt

OR
1. Use a canned / bottled tomato sauce with basil leaves for convenient and quick sauce.
2. Add 3 tbsp of red wine* of choice. (optional)
3. Heat sauce to reduce extra liquid forming a slightly thick tomato sauce.

Eggplant Parmigiana Method:
Grilled:
1. Slice eggplants into 6 pieces about 1 to 1 1/2 inches thick.
2. Lightly season each disk with salt and place on a baking tray (grease tray with olive oil or use greased baking paper).
3. Bake the eggplant until the slices begin turning deep brown on top, about 12-15 minutes.
4. Remove the eggplants from the oven and place the grilled slices of eggplant on a plate to cool.

OR

Deep Fry – Donatello Restaurant & Lounge Recipe:
1. Slice each eggplant into 6 pieces about 1 to 1 1/2 inches thick.
2. Form layers of eggplant slices, sprinkling a pinch of coarse salt in between each layer and finish off with another pinch of salt on top.
3. Cover with a plate or a heavy utensil to weigh the eggplants down in order to remove the water naturally released from the eggplants for around an hour and a half.
4. After eggplants have been drained, rinse slices well under running water to get rid of the extra salt and dry thoroughly with paper towels.
5. Next, deep fry the eggplant slices in hot vegetable oil for a about 5 – 7 minutes, until cooked and place in an oil absorbent sheet or tissue.

Tip: Eggplant slices can be coated lightly in all-purpose flour to avoid excess absorption of oil from eggplants.

Layering:
1. In an oven dish, casserole or a baking pan assemble the eggplant slices, sauce and the cheese.
2. Add a thin layer of tomato sauce and then a layer of eggplant (placing the largest slices on the bottom proceeding with the smallest on the top) with slices of feta cheese and alternating with slices or shredded mozzarella.
3. Finish off with a layer of sauce and a good sprinkling of parmesan cheese.
4. Bake in pre-heated oven for 20 – 25 minutes until lightly browned and cheese had melted.
5. Take out of the oven and cool for a few minutes before serving.

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Tip: You can layer the eggplants horizontally or vertically depending on your liking and the amount of cheese according to your taste.

2 thoughts on “Eggplant Parmigiana – Melanzane Alla Parmigiana

  1. I will surely try this… As I am a pure veggie, I have often found good eggplant dishes. Will try and update a comment for sure..
    It seems very delicious… yummm…..

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