Eggplant Parmigiana

A light and lovely fare (very unsuitable for the weather we are currently having), which just cannot go wrong, even for a novice. Based on M. Batali's recipe
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large eggplant, about 2 pounds
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1 bunch fresh basil leaves, chiffonade
  • 2T olive oil
  • 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

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Using some extra-virgin olive oil, oil a baking sheet.
  2. Slice each eggplant into 6 pieces about 1-1.5 cm thick. Lightly season each disk with salt and pepper and place on the oiled sheet. 
  3. Bake the eggplant at 450 degrees F until the slices begin turning deep brown on top, about 12-15 minutes. 
  4. Prepare the tomato sauce: mix the sauce, basil leaves, olive oil, some salt and pepper to taste
  5. Remove the eggplants from the oven. Remove the slices from the baking sheet and place them on a plate to cool.
  6. Lower oven temperature to 350 degrees F. In an 8 by 12-inch brownie 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 mozzarella 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.
  7. 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 20-30 minutes. Serve immediately.

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