The Original Italian Eggplant Parmigiana Recipe

Nya Crea

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It is so good that I cannot explain it with words. You will only find out when you complete the dish, following my recipe.

Some people will wrinkle their nose at the thought of vegetable dishes, but I guarantee this one doesn't even taste like veg and it's super easy to make! Eggplants are part of every culture and, in my opinion, still too underestimated. Most people find them difficult to cook, but I guarantee you this is one of the easiest things that you will ever make!

The secret of cooking eggplants is that you have to follow the right passages or they will be too hard, tasteless and bland. I've seen quite a bit of disaster with eggplants as protagonists!

My Sicilian grandparents used to cook eggplants almost every day. I remember coming home from school and always finding a dish of eggplant parmigiana on the table, my grandad always made a fried and quicker version of The oven-baked Parmigiana to go with pasta.

This amazing vegetable is part of our regional cooking tradition, and it's guaranteed to conquer the whole family from the little ones to the grown-ups! I have never refused a plate of eggplants with bread or an eggplant sandwich! They are simply delicious!

One of his secrets was ALWAYS making fresh tomato sauce, a secret that I made mine, after years of trying different variants. If you don't have the patience to make your sauce, don't worry, Italian passata, Italian canned tomatoes or Italian peeled tomatoes will be just fine. I have to be honest, I don't always make a fresh sauce, because I don't always have the spare time or because fresh and juicy tomatoes are hard to find during the winter.

My to-go brand is either Mutti or Cirio. Not to mistake with already made sauces!!!! Canned tomatoes or passata are not ready-made sauces, but they contain RAW tomatoes that you will have to cook yourself. As I already said in my viral Lasagna Recipe, get the right ingredients, and you will have done half of the work!

Ingredients: ( serves 4 hungry people)

2 medium- big eggplants

2 cans of Italian tomatoes or 700g of Italian Passata, in the alternative, if you have fresh tomatoes, you can make your own sauce, you will need about 1 kg.

2 eggs

salt to taste

2 tablespoons of salt (for the eggplant bath)

5-6 leaves of Basil

2 mozzarella cheese (I prefer the brand Galbani but any brand is just fine)

Parmigiano Reggiano

vegetable oil

a drizzle of olive oil

1 medium onion (yellow or red)

sugar to taste

kitchen towel to dry the eggplants (don't underestimate this passage)

Method:

Start by cutting the eggplants lengthwise, if you can use a sharp knife to make your life easier.

Place them into a rectangular bowl, fill the bowl 3/4 of its height with sink water and add two tablespoons of salt.

Place some weights to keep the eggplants submerged and leave to rest for about 2 hours.

Once you come back to drain the water, you will notice that it has changed its colour. That's the sour taste that you want to get rid off!

Take the eggplants out of the bowl and dry them very well with some kitchen towel. The next passage will be frying so make sure you have dried the eggplants properly, or the oil will splatter everywhere.

Next, break the two eggs and whisk. In the meantime, add the vegetable oil into a frying pan and add a drizzle of olive oil for crunchiness. Heat the oil to perfection.

Coat the eggplant in the egg and start frying. Some people will also coat with flour, and some other people will even omit the egg coating. It's entirely up to your preference. You can fry your eggplant however you wish, and that's the beauty of it!

Whenever you finish frying an eggplant, cover a dish with a kitchen towel to absorb the extra oil and place the eggplant on top. Don't place the eggplants on top of the other but use a kitchen towel to divide them.

In the meantime cook the sauce.

As I previously mentioned, you can make your own sauce using fresh tomatoes or you can use canned tomatoes or passata sauce.

I will list the two procedures below.

The first thing you do for both sauces is finely cutting the onion. No big chunks allowed!

Heat the olive oil and fry the onion until translucent. Now add your passata, or canned tomatoes, or fresh tomatoes washed and cut in half if you opted for a fresh sauce. Add the basil and salt and a little sugar to taste.

Now the main differences between the fresh sauce and the canned one are how long it cooks. The fresh sauce will take a bit longer, and preferably you will want to use a sauce strainer to eliminate the tomato skins. The sauce is cooked when the tomato loses its acidity and water.

Approximately 15 minutes for the canned tomatoes, and 30 for the fresh tomato.

Now you are ready to assembly your Parmigiana!

Heat your oven to 200 C for at least ten minutes.

Grate some Parmigiano cheese and cut the mozzarella into cubes.

Take a rectangular dish and place some sauce on the bottom so your eggplant won't stick.

Now place the fried eggplants to cover the bottom of your dish, spread some sauce on top, add the mozzarella in cubes and the Parmigiano.

Add another layer and repeat until you have formed three layers.

Top the last layer with sauce, mozzarella and Parmigiano to form a nice crust.

Cook in the oven at 200 Celsius for 30 minutes.

Take your eggplant parmigiana out and let it rest for about 15 minutes before cutting.

Useful tips:

Before frying, make sure the oil is hot enough but not too hot.

You can help yourself with the use of a kitchen thermometer. The temperature will have to be between 350 Farenheit and 375 F.

I usually make some extra batches of eggplant parmigiana for the day after. I think storing it in the fridge overnight exalts the flavour of it. I don't know if it's just me, but I always enjoy it better.

Have you made too much? No worries! You can always freeze your Parmigiana for a few months!

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I love to set trends, my field of expertise is music and entertainment but I also love to talk about lifestyle and what's trending at the moment. Expect to find interesting tips, music advice and interviews but also food blogging (yes I'm a foodie), pretty much, anything that interests me or sparks my attention, I promise to bring it to you!

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