- nancy Sep 21, 2005 03:50 PM
I usually recommend the recipe from Ursula Ferrigno's Truly Italian--it's similar to my family recipe. I don't have exact amounts, but there's no real need to be exact.
1. Make tomato sauce. The simplest is to saute garlic in oil till just golden, add crushed tomatoes or puree, then reduce till thick (i like it a bit thicker than you'd use for pasta; it can get a bit runny when put together with the eggplant). As to amount, I usually use a large can of tomatoes.
2. Slice a medium-large eggplant into circles about 1/4 inch thick. If you want to salt and drain, salt them on both sides, layer on a plate, put another plate on top, weight down with something heavy, and wedge something under a side of the plate so it's tilted and the liquid can drain out (into the sink, for instance). i sometimes do this, sometimes not. don't find it makes that big a difference.
3. if salted, wash and dry the slices of eggplant thoroughly. in one bowl, mix a cup of flour with salt and pepper. in another, beat 4 eggs and stir in 3/4 to 1 cup of grated parmesan. heat a frying pan with a layer of olive oil till hot.
4. dredge the eggplant slices in the flour, then dip in the egg mixture. put them in one layer in the pan and fry till golden on both sides. remove to paper towels to drain. repeat till all eggplant is finished.
5. slice up mozzarella (i usually use about 3 balls a bit smaller than baseballs). chop a large handful of basil leaves roughly.
6. In a casserole pan, place a layer of eggplant. spoon over some tomato sauce, then add a layer of mozzarella, and sprinkle basil over. repeat till you run out of ingredients. top with some extra parmesan. this will keep in the fridge for a day, or in the freezer. when ready to cook, preheat oven to 350. bake 30 to 40 minutes, till brown on top and bubbly.
Sounds a lot like my recipe- Except I use bread crumbs instead of flour. I season my bread crumbs, and add the grated cheese to the bread crumbs. I also "double dip" the eggplant slices in the crumb and egg wash. I love eggplant parm, but I hate to make it. REally easy, but lots of steps, and very messy in the kitchen. That said, I think I may have to whip up a batch this weekend.
PS- Me SIl made some a week or so ago, and used white eggplant from her garden. It was so good- even sweeter than purple eggplant.
Your recipe looks really good, I'll use it. A little humor for you. I asked my 4 year old daughter, do you know what came first, the chicken or the egg. She replied, the egg. I asked here how she could be so sure. She said, because it came from the eggplant. She startled me with her cleverness and has been a genius to me ever since. Cheers.
Whatever you do, grill the egglant slices first, otherwise they'll be soggy in the finished dish.
The best eggplant parm I ever ate was made by a Milanese girl I roomed with. Her parents ran a family restaurant, so I watched her very carefully to catch the 'authentic' technique. She made a sauce of tomatoes, garlic and onion, grilled eggplant slices, and then layered (in this order) eggplant,sauce and a shredded ball of mozzarella, parmesan and slices of Kraft cheese (Emmenthaler), repeated (so two layers of everything), ending with lots of parmesan on top. She baked it until the cheese on top was golden, and everything was piping hot.
And I'm not kidding about the presliced Kraft emmmenthaler cheese...