Eggplant Chilli Parmigiana

I love eggplants having been raised around a predominantly Italian kitchen. However over the years I have experience some triumphs and some travesty’s for this outstanding vegetable.  My sister is Vegetarian and she adores this dish as a main course.  It also makes a perfect side as it can be prepared ahead of time.  Enjoy …

3 Large Eggplants/Aubergines
Olive Oil for frying
200gm – Shredded Mozzarella
300ml – Tomato Chilli Sauce (Pasta Sauce)
250gm – Parmesan grated
Fresh Basil Leaves

Wash the Eggplants and cut into 1/4 inch slices length wise along the fruit after removing the top.

Salt on one side and begin to stack up onto each other.

When they have all been sliced and salted and stacked, cover and add weigh to the top to press the water out of the eggplant.

This can be done for 1-4 hours.  The longer you leave them, the saltier the eggplant will become.  The Salt helps to remove the water and also some of the bitterness from the eggplant.

When you are ready pat dry the slices.  Fill a pan with the desired oil over a moderate heat for frying.  Fry the slices until golden and remove to drain.  Once all sliceshave been fried we can begin to build the Parmigiana.

Pre heat the oven to 180c
Add a layer off sauce to the bottom of a baking dish with torn basil leaves.  Layer in Fried Eggplant.

Add some Parmesan and mozzarella cheese.

Add some torn basil leaves and then a layer of fried eggplant slices and repeat.

Then repeat the steps above until the dish is full, ending the sequence with a layer of sauce and cheese.

Place the dish into the oven and bake for roughly one hour until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is golden.

Garnish with fresh torn basil leaves and serve !

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