1kg or 4-6 large eggplants
2 cans of Italian tomatoes
1 medium onion, sliced
Vergezocht HO oil
500g mozzarella cheese, sliced
fresh Basil leaves
- Cut eggplants lengthwise in slices 1 cm thick, salt generously and leave to sweat for at least an hour. This draws out the excess moisture. It’s a process known as “degorging”, leading to a firmer cooked texture. Run water over the slices and dry with a paper towel.
- To make the tomato sauce, cook the onion slices gently in Vergezocht HO oil until soft, add drained whole Italian tomatoes and mash them with a fork. Reduce until sauce thickens.
- Pour about 0.5cm of Vergezocht HO oil in a pan. On medium heat fry the eggplant slices a few at a time taking care they don’t overlap. Cook until golden, flipping once. The eggplant becomes soft when cooked through, remove to a baking grid to drain off the oil. Repeat until all the slices are cooked.
- To assemble the Parmigiana, start with a thin layer of sauce in the bottom of a greased casserole dish (about 5cm deep). Then proceed with a layer of eggplants with their edges slightly overlapped, avoid gaps. Then add basil leaves and a layer of sliced mozzarella. Continue alternating layers until the eggplant is used up. Finish topping with tomato sauce and grated Parmesan. Bake in the oven for about 40 minutes at 350°F (180°C).
- Serve hot. Give it time to settle. Melanzane alla Parmigiana tastes even better the day after cooking it.