Monday, September 10, 2012

Eggplant Parmesan (Melanzane alla Parmigiana)

Eggplant Parmesan

Melanzane alla Parmigiana is a rich dish from Northern Italy, composed of alternating layers of fried eggplant, tomato sauce, Parmesan and mozzarella.  
Melanzane alla Parmigiana

  • 3 medium eggplants
  • 200 g (2 balls) mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 20-oz bottle tomatoes passata (600g)
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
Eggplant ParmigianoPreparation:
Prepare the tomato sauce. Heat 3 Tbsp olive oil in a pan and put the garlic cloves for a minute. Stir to avoid burning of garlic and add the tomatoes. Season with salt and let simmer for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F)Cut egglants into 1-cm thick round slices and put in a plate. Sprinkle slices with sea salt. This allows the bitterness to draw out and prevents browning of the eggplant. After 30 minutes pat dry every slice with a paper towel.
Brush slices of eggplant with the olive oil and put in a hot pan. Heat every slice for 3-4 minutes per side. Cut mozzarella cheese into thinnest possible circles.
Cover the bottom of a casserole with tomato sauce and arrange a layer of the eggplant slices. Layer mozzarela above, sprinkle with Parmesan and repeat with another layer of eggplants and tomato sauce. Finish with a layer of mozzarella and Parmesan. Bake for 30 minutes until cheese has melted and the top layer is golden and bubbly. Let cool at room temperature for 1o minutes before serving.

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