Monday 23 July 2012

Recipe - Eggplant Parmigiana

My mum lent me a book to read called "The Italian Wedding".  I had only read the first few pages the other night but it started with a recipe for eggplant with Parmesan.  The recipe only had a few ingredients but it sounded good so we gave it a try on Saturday night.

The cooking facilities in the caravan are very basic and we're tight with space.  I sliced the eggplant, salted it, and left it on the rack that we use for cooling bread (the colander appears to be packed away).

I had the tomato bubbling away on the stove in the caravan and a plastic container with the washed and dried eggplant stacked neatly inside sitting on the table.  The next step was to dip the eggplant in flour and then egg.  I don't know what happened but I had my back turned and there was the sound of something falling onto the floor followed by some swearing.  Mick, and this is nothing out of the ordinary in our house, had knocked the container of eggplant and it was now all over the floor.  It was back to the drawing board with washing the eggplant - I wasn't going to waste it!

Mick "helped" by grating (and eating) the Parmesan while I dipped the eggplant and put in a frying pan.  The extractor fan above the stove is all but useless and before we knew it we had the caravan full of cooking fumes and smoke with the smoke detector screaming.  Despite the cool evening we flung open doors and windows.

Eventually we got the dish in the oven and it was worth the effort.  We both thought it was one we'll make again.  I'm also thinking I want a side hatch beside the cooker on our narrowboat!!

So here it is (from the top of my head as I don't have the book with me in Melbourne) :
2 large eggplant, sliced into 1cm rounds
Bottle of Passata
1 onion, diced
2 eggs, whisked
1/2 cup plain flour
Grated Parmesan, lots
Grated Mozzarella, to sprinkle on top
Salt and pepper
Olive oil
Slice the eggplant, sprinkle with salt on both sides and leave in colander or on a rack for an hour. 
Meanwhile, dice onion and cook in olive oil. 
When soft, add the bottle of passata and stir occasionally until it thickens and reduces - about 20 minutes.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Wash the salt off the eggplant and pat it dry on paper towel.
Dip the slices first in flour, then in egg.
Cook eggplant, in batches, in a large frypan with olive oil until browned. 
Layer a lasagne dish with eggplant, then cooked tomato sauce, then Parmesan - about 3 or 4 layers.
Sprinkle Mozzarella on the top and bake in 160 degree oven for approximately 20 minutes.

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