Olive oil, eggplants, tomatoes, provolone, and basil are the key components to a delicious parmigiana. Thankfully, Calabria doesn’t have a shortage of any of these ingredients. Giuseppe’s mother is the queen of parmigiana, in fact, this is her recipe. The fun part of making parmigiana is that each time it comes out a little bit different, but honestly what can go wrong with so many delicious things in a single pan?
Parmigiana (Eggplant Parmesan) Recipe
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 garlic clove
- 2 medium (8″) globe eggplants
- 1 can 28 oz. San Marzano tomatoes
- 12 oz. mozarella or provola
- 8 tbsp parmigiano reggiano + 3 tbsp for topping
- 1/4 breadcrumbs
- Cut the eggplants into 1/2″ thick rounds.
- Lightly salt eggplant slices and place into a strainer/colander. Let them drain any excess water for two hours. Tip: If you place a weight on the eggplant slices they will drain faster.
- Finely grate parmigiano reggiano.
- Dry the eggplant slices with paper towels.
- Heat a large frying pan on medium heat and fill with 3/4″ olive oil or preferred frying oil. Test oil to make sure it’s hot with a pinch of flour. Fry eggplant until fully cooked and golden brown. Set aside. Tip: Test pan with a small amount of oil to make sure oil won’t burn. If oil burns heat is too high or pan is too thin.
- Smash garlic gloves with side of knife or chop each clove into 2-3 large pieces (do not chop fine it will burn).
- Place medium sauce pan on medium heat. Add olive oil and garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until garlic has ‘scented’ olive oil and develops a warm buttery yellow color. Tip: Tilt the pan down to ‘boil’ the garlic and oil over direct heat. If your oil smokes or garlic starts to burn turn heat to medium low or low. Everyones cooktop is different, practice makes perfect.
- Add the tomato sauce to medium sauce pan and cook for 15 minutes. Add 4-5 basil leaves and continue to cook for 5 more minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Assembling the Parmigiana: Add one small ladle of tomato sauce to the bottom of a medium large baking tray followed by a layer of the fried eggplants. Add 2 tbsp of parmigiano reggiano. Add 3 oz. mozzarella. Add 3-4 leaves of basil.
- Repeat this process until you have done four layers. Sauce, eggplant, cheese.
- Top with 3 tbsp parmigiano reggiano and breadcrumbs.
- Bake at 375 for 45 minutes.
For best results assemble and bake the parmigiana a day before. Reheat and serve warm.