I am back with my second recipe using Eggplant/Brinjal/Aubergine a la Italiano. My next recipe also uses this vegetable, simply to use up whatever balance I have bought that did not get used in this current recipe.
More work? but Oh! so delicious. I think of this dish as Baked Breaded Eggplant Casserole. Breading the eggplant is very similar to what you would do when you are preparing a Schnitzel or Chicken Katsu or Tonkatsu (Pork Cutlet). Simply changing the main ingredient, preparing it a different way, changes how each dish or meal turns out.
2 medium sized eggplants (about 650g total)
1/4 cup milk
1 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup plain (all-purpose) flour
salt & pepper to taste
For Parmigiana sauce:
2 onions, sliced thin
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 cup pasta sauce (Papa Alfredo’s tomato & basil)
1/2 can water (using the can from the chopped tomatoes as a measuring cup)
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoon dried marjoram
2 cups shredded mozzarella
1/2 – 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
- Slice eggplants into 1cm thick rounds. Place on top of a wire rack over a baking tray or on a baking tray. (I used the wire rack so the moisture that drips from the eggplant will be easier to clean and less kitchen towel paper to be used)
- Sprinkle some salt over both sides of the eggplant slices and leave for 15-20 minutes. This allows the salt to extract the moisture as well as bitterness from the eggplants.
- Wipe the eggplant slices to remove any salt residue. Wipe both sides, please.
- Next comes the breading, much of the same as you would when you make a breaded ingredient. Prepare 3 plates/bowls/trays to separately hold 1) flour 2) egg/milk mixture and 3) breadcrumbs.
- Add the salt & pepper to the breadcrumbs, toss to mix.
- Mix the eggs & milk and beat to combine.
- Dip both sides of the eggplant slices in the flour, dust off any excess.
- Next into the egg/milk mixture, allow any excess to drip off then into the breadcrumbs. Place on a plate or tray to hold for the next stage.
- Repeat with the rest of the eggplant slices.
- Time to fry the eggplant slices. Heat some oil and fry the eggplant slices on both sides for about 2-3 minutes or till the breadcrumbs turn golden (or dark golden!) brown.
- Next to prep the Parmigiana sauce.
- Lightly fry the onions & garlic till the onions turn translucent or opaque. Add in the canned tomatoes and water. Add the oregano & marjoram and sugar. Bring to a boil.
- Turn the heat to simmer till the sauce starts to thicken. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- Once the sauce is cooled, add the pasta sauce & cheeses. Mix thoroughly.
- Preheat oven to 200ºC (400ºF).
- Grease a baking dish large enough for lasagna (about 9×13″).
- Layering of this dish starts with a thin layer of sauce followed by the eggplant slices
- Repeat till all the eggplant slices or sauce is used up. Try to get the sauce as a last layer.
- Sprinkle some additional mozzarella cheese and breadcrumbs over the top layer.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or till the cheese on top has melted and browned nicely.
- Serve with a side of bread or pasta and/or salad.