Although today by definition when you say “parmigiana” everybody thinks at the delicious Italian food : the plate done with eggplant. The term originates in the city of Parma referring to the traditional way of preparing and serving all kinds of vegetables in layers.
The eggplant parmigiana has become one of the most popular traditional dishes of the Southern Italian cuisine. Prevalent in both Sicily and Naples there is a small dispute about who first created it. There is also a difference in the ingredients and the way it is cooked.
Below we present the eggplant parmigiana Neapolitan style.
YIELD : Serves 4 people DIFFICULTY: Easy PREPARATION TIME: 1 hour
1 bottle or large can of tomato puree
a few fresh basil leaves
2 table spoons of olive oil
2 table spoons of corn oil
5 teaspoons of grated parmiggiano cheese
1 tea spoon of salt
1 tea spoon of sugar
Wash eggplants and cut into slices ( not too thin)
Salt the eggplants and put in a bowl one on top of the other. Leave for 20 minutes (the salt will take away any bitterness in the eggplants)
In the mean time prepare the tomato sauce. Cut the onion in small pieces and sauté with the olive oil until golden. Add the tomato puree, salt, sugar and basil leaves. Bring to a boil and simmer at a low heat for about 7 minutes.
Take the eggplant slices that you have salted rinse them well and squeeze them together taking out the water and salt. Then fry them in the corn oil.
Take a rectangular baking dish and spread some sauce on the bottom. Then add a layer of eggplant slices. On the slices add some mozzarella cut up in small pieces, 1 spoon of parmiggiano, 2 spoon fulls of tomato sauce and a couple of basil leaves. Spread evenly over the eggplant slices. Repeat this for 2 more layers.
In a separate bowl add 1 egg with 2 tea spoons of parmiggiano and a spoon of sauce. Mix together until it becomes a bit creamy. Add this mixture to the top of the eggplant layers. This is an important step to keep the eggplant from coming apart when you serve it.
Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes.
Eggplant parmigiana is most tasty after a couple of hours that it has been cooked. So you can prepare this in advance. It is good warm or at room temperature.
Buon appetito !