AUBERGINE WITH PARMESAN
Sometimes referred to as parmigiana di melanzane, this is a classic among Italian dishes. It probably originated in southern Italy, but its great taste and easy preparation has made it popular throughout the country, as well as the mainstay of America’s Italian restaurants. Here at La Preghiera, in Umbria, Italy, we offer a 3 day Cookery Course, to learn the art of making traditional Umbrian Antipasti, Pasta, Pizza, Salads and Cakes.
See www.lapreghiera.com for further details and special offers!
1.5 kg aubergine
8 tbsp olive oil
2 kg tomatoes
3 fresh basil leaves
Freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste
Flour for dusting
1 sprig fresh Italian parsley
Serves 4 -6
Trim the stems from the aubergine and slice into rounds. Sprinkle each slice with a little salt and place them in a colander. Cover with a plate and weight it down. Leave to drain for 30 minutes.
To make the tomato sauce, heat four tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy pan and fry the onion until soft and golden. Add the skinned and chopped tomatoes and basil, mix well and simmer gently, uncovered, until the mixture reduces to a thick sauce. Season with salt and pepper.
Rinse the aubergine slices thoroughly in cold water. Pat dry with paper towels and dust them with flour. Heat a little of the remaining olive oil in a large frying pan and fry the aubergine in batches, adding more oil as needed, until golden brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels.
Oil a baking tray and make four to six stacks, alternating the aubergine slices and mozzarella. Sprinkle each stack with parmesan cheese and bake in a preheated oven at 39
°F/200°C for 30 minutes. Serve hot, warm or cold, with fresh parsley and cracked black pepper.