My to cook/bake list is very very long and it might take a while before I can scratch a dish off the list. Eggplant Parmesan or melanzane alla parmigiana has been on that list for quite some time. Even tough I love eggplant I couldn’t really imagine how this dish would taste.
Now I ask my self what took me so long? Why didn’t I make this sooner? I would have eaten it many times in the meantime.
Although this dish doesn’t have a huge amount of ingredients, I think it’s just as delicious as a lasagna with lots of cheese and creamy bechamel. The flavors just work together. An ultimate comfort food and cuddle in your belly dish.
I must admit, I don’t really enjoy frying eggplants. It takes a while and without a stove hood the smells are quite strong. I made it easier on myself and used 2 skillets to fry the eggplant and prepared the sauce a day in advance.
We ate this whole dish with just the 2 of us, but also had lots of leftovers. Depending on what you serve with it, it could easily feed 4 or up.
This is one of those dishes that tastes even better the next day, so you could make it a day in advance if you like. Just reheat it in the oven or eat it cold. I prefer to eat it warm to lukewarm.
- Ingredients for the sauce:
- 2 cans of tomatoes
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- ¼ Tbs oregano
- Salt and pepper
- Handful of fresh basil, chopped
- Oil for frying
- Other ingredients:
- 4 eggplants
- 100 g Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
- 125 g mozzarella, sliced or torn in pieces
- Oil for frying
Pan fry the onion in some oil until golden and add the garlic. Cook until fragrant and add the cans of tomato and the oregano. Break up the tomatoes with a spatula and bring to a boil.
Set on the lowest heat and cover with a lid. Let it simmer for 15 minutes.
Puree the sauce with a immersion blender (or leave it chunky). Put the sauce back on the heat and season with salt and pepper and the fresh basil. Leave to simmer for 10 minutes without the lid.
Remove from the heat for later use.
Frying the eggplant
Clean and wash the eggplant. Cut into long slices of 1/2cm or 1/5 inch thick.
Pour some flour onto a plate and coat the eggplant in a thin layer of flour.
Put a skillet (or 2) on medium heat and pour in a layer of oil. Fry the slices until golden brown on both sides and drain on paper towel.
Eggplant Parmesan / Melanzane alla parmigiana
Preheat the oven at 180°C/360°F.
Take a large oven dish and cover the bottom with a thin layer of sauce. Cover this with a layer of the fried eggplants and cover with a new layer of sauce and the freshly grated parmesan. Repeat with the eggplant and so on.
Finish with a layer of sauce, parmesan and mozzarella.
Bake in the center of the oven for 35 minutes or until the top has melted and turned golden brown.
Because I prefer not to eat hot lava, I let the dish cool for 10 to 15 minutes.
Serve with a salad or slices of bread.
Be generous with the grated parmesan in between layers. Together with the sauce it will become nice and creamy.
Freeze any leftover sauce and eat it with pasta.
An honorary mention for Jul’s Kitchen, her recipe and the variations linked in her melanzane alla parmigiana recipe inspired me to create my own version.