The first recipe in the book is the Eggplant Parmigiana which despite its name is a typically Campania dish. It is a dish known everywhere and identified as Italian by now and not only from Campania.
In my house, in summer, it was not Sunday without Parmigiana. Mom and nonna fried as if there was no tomorrow, despite the heat, because parmigiana is a summer dish since the aubergine season is summer. If on Sunday there was parmigiana, on other days of the week there was “pezzentella”, a light version of the classic one without eggs and mozzarella, therefore “pezzentella” which means “poor girl”.
I must confess that I didn’t like it and I was frowned upon by everyone for it. I tried to eat it to feel normal but I just didn’t like it, now I love it.
The one I propose is the most classic and traditional of the versions. Beware of those with grilled or baked aubergines, that is not HER; call it what you like but don’t call it PARMIGIANA.
INGREDIENTS for 1 tray of 6 generous portions
4 medium eggplants
8 whole eggs
100 gr of grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and Pepper To Taste
Peanut oil for frying
3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
3 cans of San Marzano peeled tomatoes
1 clove of garlic
Basil to taste
½ kg of mozzarella fior di latte cut into cubes
Grated Parmesan cheese for the pan
Prepare the sauce: pour the peeled tomatoes into a bowl and mash them with your hands. If you prefer, you can pass them through a vegetable mill. Put the extra virgin olive oil and the garlic clove in a saucepan. Brown lightly and add the crushed peeled tomatoes. Salt and add the chopped basil with your hands. Cover and cook for 35/40 minutes, stirring often to prevent burning.
Meanwhile, in a bowl, beat the eggs with the Parmesan, salt and pepper and set aside.
In a large dish, put the flour you will need to cover the aubergines.
Wash and dry the aubergines. Eliminate the ends and slice them thin. Heat the peanut oil in a pan. Pass the aubergine slices first in the flour on both sides and then in the beaten eggs and fry them in boiling oil until golden, place them on absorbent paper and continue to fry until all the aubergines are used up.
When the sauce is ready and the aubergines are all fried, you can proceed to prepare the Parmigiana.
Cover the bottom of the pan with a thin layer of tomato, make a layer of eggplant, one of mozzarella, cover with more sauce (but without exaggerating) sprinkle with Parmesan (abundant, for this it is called Parmigiana). Keep it up: aubergines, mozzarella, sauce and parmesan until you get to the edge of the pan. I typically make 6 layers of eggplant. Finish with a generous layer of Parmesan and bake at 180C until golden brown.
Let cool and serve. The next day is even better.
Do not be surprised if those who already love you will love you even more.