Donatella’s Eggplant Parmigiana

INGREDIENTS:

Yield: 4-6

  • 2 medium-sized eggplants
  • Sliced 1 mm thin (use a mandolin, if you have one)
  • 1 ½ pounds mozzarella
  • Sliced 2 bunches picked basil
  • 3/4 quart grated Parmigiano
  • 3/4 quart marinara sauce
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 quart extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

METHOD:

  • In a bowl or plate, thoroughly dredge the sliced eggplant, making sure to pat off excess flour.
  • In a heavy-based pot, heat up the oil and begin frying the eggplant until it's light brown in color.
  • Once all eggplant is fried, season the chips.
  • Coat the base of your cast-iron or oven-safe dishes with marinara sauce.
  • Add a single layer of eggplant chips, followed by a dusting of parmigiano, several pieces of basil, a thin layer of mozzarella, and a light drizzle of additional sauce.
  • Repeat the layering process, beginning with eggplant and continuing with the additional ingredients.
  • Once several layers are built, cover and bake in an oven preheated to 350 degrees F for 15 minutes.
  • Garnish with a basil leaf, and serve.

Optional

  • My eggplant Parmesan is inspired by my great aunt, Aida, who made her classic dish in a 100-year-old cast-iron pan that she never washed," The Parmigiana is layered and baked in a ceramic pan which gives it a great homey taste. Unlike most eggplant parms, which are breaded and have a heavy batter, my Neapolitan version is light and made with the freshest ingredients, like fresh tomatoes, basil, mozzarella, and its not over-seasoned.”

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