Cheap Chow: Eggplant Parmiagiana
My friend A is in town, so I took advantage of this and cooked for two! Yes, I know! It was very exciting, obviously. Anyways, I asked her what she wanted to eat and she said, without hesitation, eggplant parmigiana. Back in Perth, I’m a little bit famous for my eggplant parmi, and it was the kind of dish that I’d cook and then suddenly find a hoard of my friends in my kitchen, all seeking out just a little bit, pleaseeeeeeeeeeee!
What I love about this recipe is that it’s easily adaptable to feed more or less people, you just need more eggplants, more sauce and more cooking time allocated (oh, and more cheese doesn’t hurt either). It’s a real crowd pleaser too and I’ve converted many eggplant-phobes into eggplant-lovers all with this one nifty little dish.
It’s a little different to some of the eggplant parmas you may have had in the past, there’s no crumbing or deepfrying of the eggplant and trust me, you don’t miss it in this much healthier alternative – it’s still pure comfort food.
This is one of those dishes that definitely tastes better the next day, and should be reheated in the oven, not the microwave, if possible.
Eggplant Parmiagiana (serves 2)
- 1 medium size eggplant, sliced into half cm discs
- Olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 1 tin crushed tomatoes
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/2 cup red wine (optional)
- Fresh basil leaves
- Parmesan Cheese, grated
- Salt & pepper
- Place the eggplant on a baking tray and sprinkle liberally with salt, allow to sit for about 10-15 minutes and then brush any excess salt off the eggplant
- Heat a frying pan over a medium heat, add olive oil and sweat off the onions
- Once the onions are translucent, add garlic and cook for a further minute or two
- Add the tin of tomatoes and the tomato paste and stir to combine
- If you’re using red wine, add it now and cook off until the alcohol has evaporated, lower the heat and simmer for about 10-15 minutes, or until the sauce thickens
- Season the sauce with salt and pepper and add a handful of fresh basil leaves
- In the bottom of a casserole/baking dish, spoon a layer of the sauce and add a layer of eggplant over the top
- Spoon more sauce over the eggplant and add a layer of cheese
- Repeat until you run out of eggplant and sauce, add a final layer of cheese over the top
- Cover the dish in al foil and pop in an oven at 200C for about 20 minutes, or until the eggplant is cooked through (this can take a lot longer if you add more eggplant or your oven is a bit cool, it’s taken up to a hour for me before)
- Remove the al foil and pop the entire thing under the grill for a couple of minutes so that the cheese becomes lovely and bubbly golden