Every time I make this dish I am asked for the recipe. It’s soooo delicious and meaty despite the fact it is vegetarian. Must be the eggplant. It’s even better reheated the day after (what dish isn’t?), so it’s perfect for dinner parties, general parties and gatherings or just a big, hearty family dish that goes forever (or not usually in our house ‘cos it’s so scrumptious). Sort of like a lasagne, but much lighter.
1 large eggplant
2 Beaten eggs
1 Large onion
2 cloves of garlic
2 Large cans of crushed tomatoes
I Packet of Mozzarella cheese
Basil to garnish
What to do:
1. Cut the top and bottom off the eggplant and slice thinly (roughly 1/2 cm) lengthways. Lay out the pieces on a chopping board and sprinkle with a little salt (to sweat out the bitterness of the eggplant).
2. While the eggplant sweats, chop the onion and garlic and fry in a little olive oil.
3. Add the crushed tomatoes and heat till the sauce thickens a little.
4. Heat a frying pan with about 1/2 cm of vegetable oil. Dip the eggplant pieces into the beaten egg (in a bowl) and then coat with breadcrumbs (pour the breadcrumbs on a plate and press the eggplant into the crumbs).
5. Fry the breadcrumbed eggplant pieces in the vegetable oil till golden.
6. In a large baking dish, arrange the fried eggplant pieces so that they cover the bottom of the dish.
7. Add a layer of Mozzarella Cheese to the top of the eggplant layer.
8. Add a layer of your tomato sauce. Continue this layering one more time. Make sure you leave enough Mozzarella cheese for the topping and enough sauce to serve with the dish (about 1/2 the sauce).
9. Top the dish with one last layer of Mozzarella and cover the dish with aluminium foil. Bake in a preheated oven (around 180 degrees C) for about 25 mins, then remove the foil and bake for another 5 mins till the cheese topping is golden.
Slice the parmigiana and serve with a generous dollop of the leftover tomato sauce and a sprig of basil. If you like a bit of ‘kick’ add some chilli to the sauce.