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Best Italian Eggplant Parmesan recipe

Best Italian Eggplant Parmesan recipe: all you have to know to make the perfect “Parmigiana”

Golden crisp eggplant, rich in flavorful tomato sauce, plenty of mozzarella, and fresh basil make parmigiana a satisfying dish. Although parmigiana is a typical summer dish; nowadays, eggplant is available all year round. 
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Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Eggplant Parmesan recipe, parmesan eggplant
Prep Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings 8 people

Ingredients

  • 3 ½ lb of long purple eggplant  (1500g)
  • Basil leaves
  • 28 oz of ripe tomatoes canned (preferably San Marzano) (794g)
  • 1 small onion
  • Soft wheat flour 
  • 28 oz of mozzarella fiordilatte cheese or 4.5 cups (500g) of scamorza or caciocavallo (800g about)
  • 1 cups of Parmigiano Reggiano (200g)
  • 1 l High quality extra virgin olive oil 
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

  • Remove the stem and the leaves of the eggplant but don’t peel them. Cut them lengthwise into 1/4 inch (3-4) mm thick slices;
  • Place them into a strainer in a single layer and put it onto a big plate or directly into the kitchen sink; generously sprinkle with coarse salt;
  • Allow to sit for 30 minutes and then rinse off the salt in cold running water;
  • Pat them dry with paper towel;
  • Coat the eggplant slices with flour, and shake off the excess. Fry a few slices at a time in plenty of hot olive oil at 180°C (356°F) until golden crisp;
  • Drain them on paper towels;
  • Dice the fresh mozzarella and drain it to draw the water out; 
  • Prepare the tomato sauce: wash, peel and coarsely cut the tomatoes, discard the seeds. Sauté the tomatoes in a saucepan with a little extra virgin oil; 
  • Season with salt, pepper, fresh basil leaves and cook over medium heat without a lid for about one hour for a thick sauce; 
  • Now assemble the parmigiana; cover the bottom of a rectangular 9 x 13-inch (25x35 cm) baking dish with a thin layer of tomato sauce; then arrange a layer of fried eggplant slices; cover the eggplant slices with tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, ground pepper, freshly grated Parmigiano cheese, and coarsely chopped basil leaves; 
  • Repeat this process twice with three layers of eggplant slices and two of sauce and cheese; 
  • Top the last layer with an abundant amount of grated Parmigiano cheese and basil leaves; 
  • Pre-heat the oven and bake at 350°F (177°C) for 30 minutes; 
  • Let it rest a little before cutting and serving: enjoy it slowly and patiently, bite after bite.