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Eggplant Parmesan - Parmigiana di Melanzana

Eggplant Parmesan is one of the best dishes of Neapolitan cooking, which in turn, is one of the most interesting regional cuisines of Italy. People say it is good even if it is badly prepared, and that is almost impossible to make it badly.

Ingredients

Makes 6 servings
6
Vin ripened tomatoes
6
28 fl. oz
Italian plum tomatoes, canned
796 ml
4 cloves
Garlic, minced
4 cloves
2 cups
Extra virgin olive oil
500 ml
4 lbs
Long thin eggplants, peeled and sliced into rounds
2 kg
1 bunch
Basil, whole leaves
1 bunch
12 oz
Mozzarella, thinly sliced
340 gm
7 oz
Smoked mozzarella, thinly sliced
200 gm
1 1/2 cups
Grated Parmigiano Reggiano, plus more for serving
185 gm
to taste
Sea salt
to taste
Method
1/ Preheat the oven to 325°
2/ In a medium saucepan combine the canned tomatoes, a branch of basil, the chopped garlic, salt and 4 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, bring to a boil and then reduce the heat and let simmer. When done crush the mixture with a potato masher.
3/ Peel the eggplants and slice into 1/2" thick slices.
4/ Heat the oil in a heavy skillet until the oil is very hot, just until it starts to smoke. Fry the eggplant slices four or five at a time, until they are golden brown on one side, then turn to do the other side. Drain the slices on paper towel and sprinkle as they are done with sea salt.

5/ Cut the mozzarella, smoked mozzarella and fresh tomatoes into slices. Wash the basil leaves, pat dry and remove the stems.

6/ In a 9 x 13 inch baking dish start to assemble the dish as follows: place a layer of the crushed tomato mixture on the bottom of the baking dish, then add a layer of the eggplant. Now add a layer of the sliced fresh tomato and one or two basil leaves, then the mozzarella and smoked mozzarella and 3-4 tablespoons of the Parmigiano Reggiano and start again with another layer of eggplant and repeat with the other ingredients.
7/ You should make at least three layers of the eggplant and 2 of the cheese layers of the cheese and tomato filling.
8/ Bake uncovered for approximately 30 minutes and allow to cool slightly before serving. Sprinkle more grated Parmigiano Reggiano for serving.

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