I have often said how much I love cooking with eggplant and certainly Moussaka is one of my favourite dishes, but when I am looking for a meatless meal, I do sometimes turn to this recipe for eggplant parmigana. This is such a simple dish to prepare but it is so flavoursome and delicious, especially with the combination of fresh and aged pecorino. Make sure you have a lovely green salad or some rocket with fresh tomato. crispy prosciutto (if desired) and some burrata or buffalo mozzarella to serve, as well as some crusty bread to soak up the juices.
I like to serve it with a Sicilian Nero d’Avola.
1.5 kg(about 4) eggplants, cut widthwise into 1.5 cm thick slices
1 tablespoon salt
75g plain flour
160 ml olive oil
700 ml passata ( I use Mutti passatta)
1/4 cup basil leaves, plus extra, to serve
300 g fresh pecorino, grated
100 g aged pecorino, grated
crusty bread, prosciutto, and burrata (mozzarella filled with cream) with tomatoes and rocket, to serve
Toss eggplant with salt and stand for 30 minutes. Rinse and dry with paper towel.
Preheat oven to 200°C. Dredge one-quarter of the eggplant in flour and shake off excess. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a frying pan over medium heat and cook eggplant for 3 minutes each side or until golden. Drain on paper towel. Repeat with remaining eggplant, flour and oil.
Place one-third of the eggplant in the base of a greased, deep 24cm round baking dish. Top with one-third of the passata, half the basil, and one third of the combined cheeses. Add half the remaining eggplant, half the remaining passata, remaining basil and half the remaining cheese. Finish with remaining eggplant, passata and cheese.
Bake for 45 minutes or until golden and bubbly, draining any excess liquid during cooking if necessary. Scatter with extra basil and serve with crusty bread, prosciutto and burrata with tomatoes and rocket.