Eggplant Parmigiana

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13Oddly, I have never made Eggplant Parm before, but I found this recipe so appealing that I jumped right in. You simply roast the eggplant slices, then stack with tomato sauce, basil, cheeses, and top with bread crumbs. Once assembled it makes for a beautiful presentation.  That said, my hubby had a few suggestions to amp it up. He recommends thinner slices of eggplant, more sauce and more cheese — he just felt the “eggplant to sauce ratio” was not quite right (too funny).


EGGPLANT PARMIGIANA (Serves 4)

Ingredients

  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  •  2 large eggplant, about 2 pounds
  •  Salt and pepper
  •  2 cups basic tomato sauce, recipe follows
  •  1 bunch fresh basil leaves, chiffonade
  •  1 pound fresh mozzarella, sliced 1/8-inch thick
  •  1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  •  1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs, lightly toasted under broiler

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Using some extra-virgin olive oil, oil a baking sheet.
  3. Slice each eggplant into 6 pieces about 1 to 1 1/2 inches thick. Lightly season each disk with salt and pepper and place on the oiled sheet. Bake the eggplant at 450 degrees F until the slices begin turning deep brown on top, about 12-15 minutes. Remove the eggplants from the oven. Remove the slices from the baking sheet and place them on a plate to cool.
  4. Lower oven temperature to 350 degrees F. In an 8 by 12-inch pan, place the 4 largest eggplant slice evenly spaced apart. Over each slice, spread 1/4 cup of tomato sauce and sprinkle with a teaspoon of basil. Place one slice of mozarella over each and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon grated Parmigiano. Place the smaller slices of eggplant over each of the disks and repeat with tomato sauce, basil, and the 2 cheeses. Repeat the layering again until all the ingredients are used.
  5. Sprinkle the toasted bread crumbs over the top of the eggplant dish, and bake uncovered until the cheese is melts and the tops turn light brown, about 20 minutes. Serve immediately.

~from FoodNetwork/recipes/Mario-Batali.com

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