Cookbook:Eggplant Parmesan (Melanzane alla Parmigiana) I
|Eggplant Parmesan (Melanzane alla Parmigiana) I|
Melanzane parmigiana was originally a Sicilian dish called Parmiciana di melenzane, parmiciana being the slats of a wooden shutter which resemble the layering of the slices of eggplant in the dish. In the form in which it is now known worldwide, it is generally an oven baked dish consisting of aubergine, Parmesan cheese, mozzarella and tomato sauce.
- Wash eggplants and cut them in slices about 1–1.5 cm (or about ¼ inch) thick.
- Salt each slice on both sides, and use one of the following techniques to draw the water out. Then rinse off the salt under running water and let them dry. Arrange them on a plate, and cover them with another. Let them rest for 60–120 minutes, time permitting. Alternatively, place salted eggplant slices in a large strainer, cover, and place a weight (e.g., a pot of water) on top to help squeeze out the water faster.
- Bread and cook the eggplant slices, with one of these two methods. Do not overcook, as they will spend more time in the oven later.
- For a thicker breading, dredge and fry them.
- For a light thin breading, dust with flour and bake. They should come out lighter than if fried.
- Layer the eggplant slices, tomato sauce, then mozzarella and Parmesan cheese in a baking dish. Some cooks add fresh basil leaves. Make as many layers as you wish, but 3 or 4 should be enough.
- For a nice crust, finish with another covering of Parmesan.
- Bake at 180°C (350°F) for about 20–30 minutes, or until cheese topping is lightly browned.