Traditional Eggplant Parmigiana – Parmigiana di Melanzane
TRADITIONAL EGGPLANT PARMIGIANA
This dish is a tradition, and the pride of many households in Italy. The beauty of this dish is its flexibility, and the possibility for the chef to be creative.
INGREDIENTS YOU WILL NEED:
3 Large Eggplants (Peeled)
300g/10.58 oz Parmesan Cheese (Grated)
200g/7.05 oz Homemade Tomato Sauce (Recipe included below)
150g/5.29 oz Italian Mozzarella (Cubed)
5-7 Course Chopped Fresh Basil Leaves
300g/10.58 oz Flour * (OPTIONAL)
3 Eggs * (OPTIONAL)
INGREDIENTS FOR THE TOMATO SAUCE:
300g/10.58 oz Fine Chopped Onion
1 Teaspoon of Chopped Garlic
2-3 Basil Leaves
We begin with the preparation of the tomato sauce. Start by adding the Extra Virgin Olive Oil, chopped onions and garlic into a medium to large saucepan, sauté the ingredients until golden brown and remove from heat. Pour in the Whole Peeled San Marzano Tomatoes and the San Marzano Passata, fill each of the bottles up with water and add the water to the saucepan as well. Add the broth cube and bring the ingredients to a boil.
Don’t forget to periodically stir the sauce!
Allow the sauce to boil down until the whole tomatoes are integrated into the sauce, this may take over an hour, we usually repeat the adding of water every hour, letting the ingredients boil down until the sauce becomes smooth. Once you feel the sauce is ready add the basil leaves and allow the sauce to rest.
While we leave the tomato sauce to cook, we have time to prepare the other ingredients for the dish. Peel the Eggplants and slice them thinly length ways, we have an option of dipping the eggplant slices in egg and flour prior to frying, a simple flour dip works well too. There are many vegetarian or vegan alternatives available as replacements to the egg and flour coating as well.
Bring a frying pan up to temperature with Extra Virgin Olive Oil enough to fill almost half the height of the pan, and begin frying the coated eggplant slices, there will be several portions fried, be patient for each portion to cook, look for the eggplant to lightly brown with a crisp surface but a soft inside. remove the eggplant from the oil and allow the oil to soak into paper towel on a tray.
Constructing the Dish:
Once you feel the tomato sauce and eggplant have been prepared, we can begin constructing the dish.
Preheat your oven to 180℃ or 350℉.
In an baking dish, ladle in a thin layer of tomato sauce to cover the bottom of the dish, begin laying slices of the prepared eggplant until a complete single layer covers the dish, add some mozzarella and parmesan cheese to cover the eggplant, add some of the chopped basil leaves, and cover with another layer of tomato sauce.
We repeat this process until either the dish is full or the ingredients are finished.
The final layer we will cover with tomato sauce and then completely cover with parmesan cheese, nice and thick. Top with a basil leaf.
Place the finished dish in the oven for 20-25 minutes and allow the parmesan cheese to brown evenly across the top. Once the dish is done allow to it to cool slightly and serve.
Leftovers, if any, can be frozen and reheated.