For my version of the classic Italian dish Eggplant Parmigiana, I like to add some minced beef to the tomato sauce, make the dish more substantial. Adding meat also makes this dish into a meal, instead being considered a side dish.
I like to make the tomato sauce using a mixture of passata and tinned ratatouille, I find this makes the tomato sauce good and thick and tasty.
It is worthwhile seeking out a good source of Parmesan cheese. The cheese should be called Parmigiana Reggiano, this will then be the authentic Parmesan cheese. It is always better to buy a block and grate the cheese your self. In my local supermarket they sell Parmesan but in small little packets which is adequate but I like to idea of buying a huge chunk from a proper cheese shop.
Eggplant Parmigiana Recipe
Ingredients – Serves 4
2 large Eggplants (aubergines)
400g lean minced beef
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 garlic cloves crushed
200g tinned ratatouille
1 tbsp Italian dried herb mixture.
1 medium onion finely diced.
40g Parmesan cheese. Parmigao reggiano
150g mozzarella (soft type) thinly sliced
Turn your grill to heat up to a medium temperature.
Slice the eggplants into 1/2″ slices – (removing the stalk first).
Place the eggplant slices onto the grill rack and grill these until the slices are tender have turned an even brown color on both sides.
This will take about 10 minutes.
To make the sauce.
Heat the olive oil in a frying pan fry mince beef until brown, break the mince down so it there are no large lumps, then add the onions and gently fry about 5 minutes.
Add the garlic and continue to cook until the onions are cooked, soft and translucent.
Add the passata, ratatouille and herbs, bring this mixture to the boil and simmer for about 15 minutes. Cook until this mixture is good and thick and tasty.
To assemble the Eggplant Parmigiana.
Take a large ovenproof dish and place a layer of eggplant on the bottom of the dish.
Take 1/3 of the sauce and pour this over the first layer. Repeat making another two layers, ending with the sauce on top.
Place the slices of mozzarella on top of the sauce and sprinkle over the Parmesan cheese.
Place the dish in a preheated 160C oven for 30 minutes, the eggplants should be tender and the cheese will have melted and the sauce will be bubbling.