Parmigiana di Melanzane (aka eggplant parmesan)
Fried eggplant, melted cheese, a rich tomato sauce... whats not to like? This easy and delicious dish makes a perfect dinner any night of the week.
flour for dusting the eggplant
sunflower oil for frying
500 ml of tomato purée
extra virgin olive oil
1 clove of garlic
a few basil leaves
200 g of fresh buffalo mozzarella
3 eggs, beaten
100 g (1 cup) of grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 180°C.
Wash the aubergines and cut into thick slices. Arrange the aubergine slices on a plate and sprinkle with salt in between the layers to drain out the water (this prevents them from soaking up oil when frying). Cover each layer with paper towel. After 30 minutes, rinse under running water to remove excess salt and pat them dry.
Pour oil into large pan and turn to medium-high heat. While it is heating, coat the aubergine slices in flour, shaking off the excess flour from each slice.
When the oil is hot enough, deep fry the aubergines in batches. Let them brown on both sides (about 5 minutes). When the aubergines are golden and crisp, lay them in a dish covered with paper towels to soak up the excess oil. Season the aubergines lightly with salt while they are still hot.
In a separate pan, heat a few tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil with a clove of minced garlic. When the garlic turns golden pour the tomato purée, add a cup of water and some fresh basil leaves. Season with a pinch of salt. Cook for about ten minutes, until the sauce has thickened.
Spread a few tablespoons of tomato sauce on the bottom of a baking dish, arrange a layer of fried aubergines over and pour a part of the beaten eggs over that. Sprinkle with chopped mozzarella and a generous layer of grated parmesan cheese. Repeat until you run out of ingredients to layer. Top with tomato sauce, a few pieces of mozzarella and parmesan.
Bake in the oven for about 35 minutes, until golden brown on the top.
Let cool for 5 minutes, then serve and enjoy!