Ah, eggplants…AUBERGINES (even bettah)! Have I mentioned how much I LURVE them? They are really a vivacious veggie ; ) Like that do ya? They’re an amazing regal dark purple color & have curves that go on for miles, my kinda veggie! A few of these babies are the backbone of this amazing dish. If you don’t have time to make a Lasagne alla Bolognese try this. It’s the same comfort food feel except in a veggie version ; )
With eggplants you’ll need to let them release their liquids, they’re kinda bloated tee hee! Slice them early and place them into your colander so they’ll be ready when you are. You can even make this dish up ahead of time & just pull it out & bake it right before dinner. On the cheese measurements, they are estimates (I usually just go by look). GASP! Don’t freak out. Just remember that your layers need to be equal. You don’t want your dish to be top heavy or bottom heavy now would you? If you use a little more cheese, or less cheese, no worries! Here’s a secret: Recipes are just suggestions really ; ) Do what you like! You might surprise yourself with what you come up with!
I can’t believe I’m about to say this, because I do like me some meat, but you’re not going to miss it in this dish! It’s filling and hearty thanks to those sexy little aubergines (yes much much cooler to say than eggplant, no?) Even sexier is how to say in Italian: Mel-an-zan-a all-a Par-me-john-ah…. yep you could say anything in Italian & it’s just sexy! Punto (period!)
Matter of fact I just might start speaking in Italian all the time! Cosa pensi? tee hee
What you’ll need:
4 large eggplants – sliced vertically
1 28 oz large can of Italian Whole Tomatoes
1 bunch of fresh basil – roughly chopped
2 cups Parmigiano Reggiano – grated
1 large fresh Mozzarella ball – sliced thin
2 large eggs – beaten
2 tbsp unsalted butter
What to do:
After slicing your egglant, place the slices into a colander & sprinkle with salt. Place a large stock pot filled with water ontop of eggplant to help it to release it’s liquids. Allow eggplant to drain for 30 mins – 1 hour. WHILE eggplant is draining, into large saucepan add your tomatoes & 1/2 of your chopped basil. Season with s/p & allow to cook over medium-high heat for approx 30 mins. Stirring as necessary. When finished cooking, put the sauce mixture into your food processor, blender or foodmill until it has a beautiful silky sauce consistency.
Place enough oil (1/4 cup ish) into a pan & heat over med heat. Pat your eggplant slices dry & fry them until golden. Do not crowd the pan, do this in batches. When golden, transfer them to a plate lined with paper towels. Continue until all slices are fried. Set them aside.
Preaheat your oven to 350 degrees. To assemble: Spray a large ovenproof dish with cooking spray. Place a ladel full of sauce onto bottom. Place a layer of eggplant on the bottom. Sprinkle with Parmigiano Reggiano & Mozzarella slices & a sprinkling of some chopped basil. Add a few (2-3) tbsp of beaten eggs. Continue with same pattern until all layers are complete. Top layer should ONLY have eggplant & tomato sauce. Cut the butter into small pieces & randomly place on top. Bake for 30-40 mins or until golden & bubbly. Garnish with Parmigiano Reggiano!
Allow to cool for a few mins before cutting so that your slices remain intact!