eggplant parmesan: Italian Fall comfort food
eggplant parmesan recipes
There are a million variants of eggplant parmesan in the Italian cuisine. Cause every mom and nonna has made her own, influenced by the region she lived in and the produce she had on hand.
As always, Italian recipes offer a multitude of options to choose from. And making the authentic Italian dish can appear like a big challenge. But don’t worry, as long as you are using fresh and seasonal ingredients, real passata, mozzarella, and parmesan cheese, chances are, you’ll get a greedy, spectacular casserole of eggplant parmesan to bring to tonight’s table.
Although Fall is definitely here, I have one more eggplant recipe to share.
I’m still finding eggplants at the market, so I’m taking advantage of everything I’ll miss for the next 6 months or so. So I’m buying a lot, cooking and preserving as much as I can, just in case I need some comfort food (read eggplant parmesan) during the Winter.
These transition phases are kind of funny, especially in warm places like Rome:
- pumpkins and Halloween decorations, but an eggplant parmesan in the oven (or tomatoes being preserved)
- sweaters and scarfs in the morning, but t-shirts in the evening
- freezing days, and then Ottobrate romane
- vibrant colorful flowers on one side, and decadent foliage right next to them…
Back to the kitchen, here’s the really basic eggplant parmesan recipe, the most authentic version of it. My family recipe, of course :-).
This saucy casserole, fresh bread, and a salad are a perfect dinner, a meal that will make you happy for the rest of the week.
Ingredients are for two, but I hardly suggest you duplicate and:
- Freeze for next week
- Make leftover paninis for tomorrow’s lunch
- for the frying
- ¼ cup of olive oil
- 2-3 medium eggplants
- for the sauce
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 500 gr (17,6 oz) of tomato passata
- 2 garlic cloves
- A pinch of salt
- 5-6 basil leaves
- 25 gr of parmigiano reggiano (parmesan cheese)
- ½ a mozzarella (fior di latte)
- Slice the eggplants (1 cm/0.5 inch tall). Sprinkle them with salt and place them in a coriander for about 15 minutes.
- Slice the mozzarella and set it to loose extra liquids in another coriander.
- Grate the Parmesan cheese.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet and fry the eggplant slices, a couple of minutes on both sides, (or until golden brown).
- Heat the olive oil in a medium/large skillet. Peel and crush the garlic cloves and brown them in the olive oil.
- Remove garlic and add passata. Cook over medium/low heat 20 minutes. Add a pinch of salt and mix.
- Turn the heat off and add basil leaves. Mix and let rest.
- Preheat oven to 200°C (390°F).
- Time to assemble: you can opt for a medium-size baking sheet/casserole, or cute single serving oven pots.
- Anyway, what you have to do to assemble the dish, is the following:
- Spread the bottom of the casserole with a thin layer of the tomato sauce and add a layer of eggplant slices.
- Cover it with another layer of sauce, and one of parmesan cheese.
- Add another layer of eggplants (you might want to place some vertically and some horizontally, or just as good as it takes to fill the surface ).
- Cover it with tomato sauce, add a layer of mozzarella and one of parmesan.
- Finally, add the last layer of eggplants, cover it with sauce and finally, sprinkle it with parmesan.
- sauce + eggplant + sauce + parmesan + eggplant + sauce + mozzarella + parmesan +eggplants + sauce + parmesan.
- Bake the single or multiple casseroles 40 minutes (you should get a light crust on top).
And remember: eggplant parmesan is delicious hot or cold, but warm is where heaven meets earth.