The eggplants are not crumbed here so this is a lighter style of parmigiana than what you would get at a pub. It also means the dish is quicker to prepare and has less dishes – win win! This does seem like a long recipe – but it is super straightforward and not complicated to do.
I was totally stuck for a music inspired title here – so keeping with the movie line idea from last week’s tuna recipe, …the tuna’s really good – I went for a twist on a James Bond line.
This is vegetarian and gluten free
1-2 eggplants (depends on size – you want about 10 x 5-7 mm slices of eggplant all together)
olive oil, salt and freshly ground pepper to prepare the eggplant for grilling
400- 500 g of fresh tomatoes (I used Roma cherry tomatoes – can be whole, but larger varieties are good too – chop these roughly) or 400 g can of whole peeled tomatoes
1 garlic clove. Roughly sliced.
1 tbs fresh oregano or a couple of sprigs of rigani
4 whole dried chillies (optional)
about 1 tbs white wine vinegar
1-2 tbs olive oil
1 tsp white or sugar
about a ¼ cup white wine
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
3-4 bocconcini (100-150 g) (1.5-2 bocconcini per serve)
3-4 tbs shredded mozzarella (1.5-2 tbs per serve)
a handful of fresh basil leaves
a couple of handfuls of fresh rocket leaves
red wine vinegar, olive oil to dress the rocket (1/3 vinegar, 2/3 olive oil or half-half if you like vinegar – about 1 tbs to 2 tbs or 1.5 tbs to 1.5 tbs + salt and freshly ground pepper)
grill the eggplant
First, slice the eggplant into 5-7mm slices – about 10 (5 for each serve)
Coat each side of the slices in olive oil, salt and freshly ground pepper. Make sure you keep the slices in order.
Grill each slice on a griddle pan until tender but not falling apart.
Organise 2 piles of ordered slices on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Set aside and get onto making the sauce.
In a medium sauce pan put tomatoes, garlic, oregano, sugar, vinegar, wine, olive oil, salt and freshly ground pepper.
Gently, bring the sauce to the boil. Stir every now and again to prevent tomatoes sticking. Boil for about 5-10 minutes to reduce the sauce. Stir to ensure tomatoes don’t stick.
Keep on a medium-low heat to reduce the tomatoes down. Keep stirring every now and again to prevent tomatoes sticking. It is ready when the tomatoes have almost-to-completely broken down. Taste for salt and pepper.
It will take 30-40 minutes to cook the sauce.
putting the eggplant parmigiana together
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius.
Between each slice of eggplant place 1-2 tbs of tomato sauce, and torn bocconcini (about 2-3 quarters of a bocconcini ball)
On the last layer, instead of bocconcini, top with mozzarella. Sprinkle with salt.
Cut the skewer in half and stick it through the pile of eggplant slices to hold them together.
Place in the oven, and cook for 15-20 minutes, until the cheese is melted well.
Dress the rocket while the eggplant parmigianas are cooking.
Place 2-3 tbs of the sauce onto each plate.
Using a spatula, slide one eggplant parmi on top of each sauce pile.
Top each parmi with fresh, torn basil leaves.
Sit the dressed rocket off to the side.
Any leftover sauce will last in the fridge for a week. Can be used just like tomato sauce (with sausages etc); or on the side of poached eggs; on bread, topped with cheese, and melted; through pasta with some bfresh basil, olives, capers or anchovies; in sandwiches