Melanzane alla Parmigiana

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  Serves 4-6 People


Step One:  Make the Fresh Tomato Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg fresh tomatoes, finely chopped or 28 oz can of Italian plum tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, fineley chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch Basil (about 12 leaves)

Method:

  1. Saute the onion with a touch of olive oil until translucent but not brown
  2. Add the garlic and sweat for a few seconds but do not brown
  3. Add chopped tomatoes and simmer over low heat
  4. Add the basil and continue cooking until the sauce begins to thicken
  5. Remove from the heat and add salt

Step Two:  Prepare the Eggplant

Ingredients:

  • 2 kg eggplant
  • 30 g salt
  • 200 ml extra virgin olive oil

Method:

  1. Peel the eggplant and cut into quarter-inch slices
  2. Salt the eggplant and place between two trays to press out the bitter juices
  3. After 1-2 hours rinse the eggplant and pat dry
  4. Heat the oil and fry the slices until lightly coloured
  5. Set the slices upright in a rack to drain, and then on a sheet of absorbent paper to remove as much of the oil as possible

Step Three:  Assembly and Presentation

Ingredients:

  • 400 g mozzarella cheese
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 100 g grated parmesan cheese

Method:

  1. Cut the mozzarella in nice medium-size, thin, slices
  2. Beat the eggs and add them to the tomato sauce
  3. Use an 8 to 10-inch diameter oven-proof dish, about 3 inches high
  4. Spread 3 or 4 tbsp of tomato sauce on the bottom of the dish
  5. Arrange one-third of the eggplant on the tomato sauce, overlapping them slightly
  6. Cover with 3 tbsp of grated cheese (optional: add some basil leaves), 3tbsp of tomato sauce and half of the mozzarella cheese
  7. Repeat this process with another layer
  8. Lay down a third layer, covering with tomato sauce and the remaining grated cheese
  9. Bake for about an hour, at approximately 350 F turning the heat up in the last few minutes
  10. The dish should not be eaten hot; let it cool some, or better yet, entirely, it will be even better the next day