When life gives you eggplants, make eggplant parmegiana! And recently life has been very generous to me on the eggplant side so i feel like i should share this recipe with you to keep my good eggplant karma. Eggplant parmegiana is not something i make very often but maybe i should change that. I realized how popular it is at the dinner table and what a great accompaniment it makes to grilled lamb and other grilled meats. It’s also a dish that may have your guests fighting over the leftovers as it was the case at work a few days ago. Now you’ve been warned and i won’t be held responsible for any bruises and broken bones!
Another recipe where almost all the ingredients were grown on the property in the Hamptons or sourced locally. Except for the Sardinian olive oil and the parmegiano-reggiano. Poor little spoiled me.
Hope everyone had a great labor day week-end! Now let’s get back to work, friends. Chop-chop.
- Serves 8 to 10
For the eggplant parmegiana:
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced
- 4 cups of your favorite tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons capers, drained
- 1/4 cup basil leaves, roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 3 cups dried bread crumbs
- 1 cup flour
- 5 eggs
- 3 medium eggplants, cut into 1/4 -inch thick slices
- 4 cups whole milk ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
- 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
For the eggplant parmegiana:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Put a medium saucepan over medium heat and add the olive oil and garlic and cook 1 minute. Add the tomato sauce, red pepper flakes, and capers, and bring to a low simmer. Let it cook for 10 to 15 minutes. Add the basil and season with salt and pepper if necessary. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- Combine the bread crumbs and oregano in a pie plate and season with salt and pepper. Break 3 eggs into another pie plate season and the flour in another one, season with salt and pepper. Heat some olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. When the oil is hot, dredge several eggplant slices in the flour, then dip them in the egg, and finally in the bread crumbs. Put in the skillet and cook until each slice is tender and well browned on both sides. Drain on paper towels.
- In a food processor, place the ricotta, 1/2 cup of the Parmigiano cheese and 2 eggs and process until smooth. Stir in the basil and season with salt and pepper and process until well blended.
- Butter a large gratin dish. Ladle some of the tomato sauce to cover the bottom of the dish. Add a layer of eggplant. Spread with half of the ricotta mixture. Spoon another layer of tomato sauce over and sprinkle with about one-third of the mozzarella. Repeat with a layer of eggplant, the rest of the ricotta, tomato sauce, and another third of the mozzarella. Finish with the rest of the eggplant, the rest of the tomato sauce, and the rest of the mozzarella. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup Parmigiano.
- Bake for 1 hour, or until golden brown. Wait 30 min before cutting. Serve with grilled meats, a green salad or on its own.