Monday, February 27, 2006

Melanzane alla Parmigiana (Aubergine parmigiana)


Tonight I wanted to cook up something with the fresh eggplant my mum gave me from the garden so tried out this simple dish from Jamie’s latest ‘Italy’ book. As promised it was very moorish & I’m going back for seconds in a minute it was so tasty, very easy to prepare too. Its almost a meal in itself which is good as its all I’m having tonight, Michael having left me to my own devices while being wined & dined by his work.

Melanzane alla Parmigiana (Aubergine parmigiana)

Jamie describes this as a classic Northern Italian recipe. Which is great served with all sorts of roasted meats or fish. He recommends grilling the eggplant rather than frying with oil as this gives them a creamy rather than greasy texture.

3 large firm eggplants
olive oil
1 onion, peeled & finely chopped
1 clove garlic peeled & finely sliced
1 heap teaspoon dried oregano
2 x 400g tin plum tomatoes
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
a little wine vinegar
a large handful fresh basil
4 large handfuls freshly grated parmesan cheese
2 handfuls of dried breadcumbs
a little fresh oregano, leaves chopped
optional: 1 x 150g ball of buffalo mozzarella

Remove the stalks from the eggplants & cut into 1 cm thick slices, set aside. Get your griddle pan or bbq really hot. Meanwhile, put 2 or 3 glugs of olive oil in a pan over medium heat & add onions, garlic & oregano, cook for 10 minutes until soft & the garlic has a tiny bit of colour. Add the tomatoes to the onion mix, cover & simmer for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, grill the eggplant on both sides until lightly charred & set aside. When the tomato sauce is reduced, add salt & pepper, basil & vinegar. You can leave chunky (as I did) or puree.

In an oven dish, put in a small layer of sauce, sprinkle lightly with cheese, followed by a single layer of eggplant, repeat until all ingredients used up, then finish with a layer of tomato, cheese & sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Breadcrumbs are nice tossed in olive oil with the fresh oregano. Also you can serve with torn up mozzarella on top. Place the dish in the oven at 190c & cook for ½ an hour until golden, crisp & bubbly. Its best eaten right away but can be served cold.

1 comment:

Sue said...

That does sound totally yum