David's Eggplant Parmigiana
TOTAL TIME: 1 HOUR 55 MINUTES
2 large eggplant (approximately 700g), thinly sliced
700g passata (pureed tomatoes) chunky texture
1 white onion, finely chopped
Small bunch of basil, torn
250g mozzarella cheese, cut into cubes
¾ (70g) cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
½ tablespoon olive oil
Flour for dusting
Sunflower oil for frying (approximately ½ cup/125ml)
Salt and pepper to season
Place eggplant in a colander. Sprinkle slices lightly with salt and set them aside for an hour to drain off any excess water.
Meanwhile, to make the simple tomato sauce, sauté onion in a pan with the olive oil until translucent and soft, but not browned.
Add the tomato passata, basil, salt and pepper. Stir, then simmer gently for 10 to 15 minutes. Set aside.
Rinse the eggplant slices under cold water and pat them dry with a kitchen towel or paper. Lightly dust them with flour, shaking off any excess then fry them in sunflower oil for a few seconds each side, drain on kitchen paper to remove any excess oil.
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Using a baking dish (approximately 20 x 25 cm) spoon a small amount of tomato sauce onto the bottom of the dish and spread it around.
Next, add one layer of eggplant to the dish followed by a sprinkling of parmesan cheese, ⅓ of the mozzarella and a sprinkling of pepper.
Add half of the remaining tomato sauce and repeat step 6.
For the final layer, spoon over the remaining tomato sauce and top with the remaining parmesan and mozzarella.
Cover loosely with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 20 minutes until nice and golden and bubbling on top. Let it rest for 5 minutes before serving with a couple of basil leaves for presentation.