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Parmigiana di Melanzane (Eggplant Parmesan)

Makes 8 servings:

  • 3 large eggplants
  • 300 grams of mozzarella
  • 750 grams of chopped fresh tomatoes
  • 4 cloves of chopped garlic
  • 8 basil leaves
  • 100 grams of grated parmesan cheese
  • 6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste

Cut the ends on the eggplants and peel them. Cut into slices about half a centimeter thick. It is usually cut in length but if you’re not very skilled with the knife, cut into rounds, it is a little easier.

Arrange the eggplant slices in a large bowl, salting each layer. It should be around a heaping tablespoon of salt: better not to overdo it. Lay the eggplant on a plate with a weight on top, to accelerate the process of removing excess water.

After about an hour, squeeze the slices of eggplant with your hands to remove as much water as possible and dry them further in two tea towels.

Grease a large frying pan with just a little olive oil and let the aubergines cook until they are golden on both sides.

Pour a tablespoon of oil in a saucepan and fry the cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped, without taking color. Add the chopped tomatoes and, after 10 minutes when the sauce is more watery, turn off the flame. Combine the basil, salt and pass through a food blender.

Grease a baking dish and arrange a layer of eggplant, placing them side by side, without overlapping. No need to add salt as the eggplant always retain some salt from before.

Pour 2 tablespoons of sauce over the eggplant and spread it evenly with back of spoon. Sprinkle with a little Parmesan, without excess.

Cut the mozzarella into thin slices and add them over the sauce. Leave a bit of distance between them.

Do the same until all the ingredients. The last layer should be sauce, a little more abundant in this case, no cheese.

Pour the remaining oil on the surface and bake in the oven at 200 degrees (375°F) for about 45 minutes.

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