Eggplant (Melanzane) Parmigiana - Chef Recipe by Guy Grossi
Eggplant (Melanzane) Parmigiana - Chef Recipe by Guy Grossi
Eggplant (Melanzane) Parmigiana - Chef Recipe by Guy Grossi

Eggplant (Melanzane) Parmigiana - Chef Recipe by Guy Grossi


Ingredients

"Melanzane has won the world over and has many incarnations. To me, it screams southern origins with a northern temperament. The sweetness of the eggplant teamed with the acidity of the tomato are such homely flavours, making it the ultimate winter comfort dish. It works as a dish on its own or put it in the centre of the table and serve it with mains or antipasto." - Guy Grossi.

6 (about 1.8 kg) eggplants (aubergines)
4 Tbs olive oil
100 g Parmigiano, grated
500 g mozzarella, thinly sliced
1 1/2 Tbs dried oregano
Sea salt and cracked black pepper

Tomato Sauce:

2 x 400 g tins whole peeled tomatoes
2 1/2 Tbs olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
3 Tbs tomato paste
2 basil leaves
Sea salt and cracked black pepper

Method

To make the tomato sauce, put the tomatoes in a container and blend with a stick blender until smooth. Set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium-low heat, add the garlic and onion and cook for 8–10 minutes or until the onion is translucent. Add the tomato paste and basil and cook, stirring, for 2–3 minutes. Add the pureed tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Stir in 1 cup (250 ml) water and simmer for 45 minutes or until the sauce is rich and flavoursome. Adjust the seasoning if needed.

Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan-forced).

Trim the tops of the eggplants and peel, then cut widthways into roughly 5 mm thick slices.

Working in batches, heat a little of the olive oil in a large heavy-based frying pan over medium–high heat. Add the eggplant and cook for 1–2 minutes each side or until lightly browned and tender. Remove and drain on paper towel.

Cover the base of a 30 cm x 20 cm baking dish with a little tomato sauce (not too much), followed by a layer of eggplant, a sprinkling of Parmigiano, a layer of mozzarella, a pinch of oregano and seasoning. Continue layering in this way until you nearly reach the top of the dish, finishing with the tomato sauce and a final sprinkling of Parmigiano. Bake for 25–35 minutes or until golden (cover the top with foil if it starts browning too much).

Credits: This is an edited extract from Cellar Bar by Guy Grossi (Lantern, a Penguin imprint, $49.99).


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