Vegetarian recipe for Melanzane alla Parmigiana – creamy eggplants layered with tomato and parmesan cheese.
2 large cloves garlic sliced
2 400g tins chopped peeled tomatoes
2 large egglants sliced
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
Handful of fresh basil leaves
Salt and pepper
First off heat your oven to 180 Celsius.
Next put a small pot on the stove on medium to low heat and place both tins of tomatoes into the pot, stir and then leave to simmer while you prepare the eggplants.
Chop the ends off your eggplant and slice into 1-2cm thick pieces lengthways so you have these long strips of eggplant.
Place a generous amount of Olive oil into a pan on a medium heat and fry the garlic, remove and add to the tomato sauce. Now fry the eggplant slices until lightly golden on each side. Place on kitchen paper to drain. This should take about 3 minutes per side and is important not to rush, you want nice creamy eggplant.
While these are cooking stir and taste the tomato sauce adding a little salt and pepper to taste. You want to reduce the liquid and have the tomatoes still a little chunky but soft and a thickened sauce. Toss in the basil leaves ripping them as you put them into the sauce.
Now take your oven dish and spread a thin layer of tomato sauce on the bottom, then cover with eggplant and another slightly thicker layer of sauce. Sprinkle over a small amount of Mozzarella and then repeat the process until you have used up all of the eggplant. Pour the remaining tomato sauce over the top, sprinkle the last of the Mozzarella and then top off with every last piece of the Parmesan.
make sure you have a nice layer of Parmesan covering the top.
Place in your oven for about 40 minutes until you have a bubbling cheesy crust that has a little of the tomato sauce oozing through.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving. This lets the cheesy crust harden a bit which makes all the difference.
Double or treble this recipe with no problem at all!