Monday, March 11

Monday Weekday Supper: My Eggplant Parmigiana simplified

visit my kitchen where I share  
 weekday supper recipes

today is
my fresh, one layer 
eggplant parmigiana recipe

love it when my kids help in the kitchen
My readers have written in 
encouraging these Monday recipes, 
and the most popular ones are those made simple, 
a little healthier and less time consuming.  
One reader tweeted me a photograph from his family table where they made my penne bolognese recipe.  Since they live on a boat with limited cooking amenities, my one pan version was helpful to them.  So happy to hear the dish came out well, and they enjoyed it. You can follow @harryC on twitter for fun, often interior design related tweets. 

This was a busy week, but I made time to whip up a quick plate of Eggplant Parmigiana.  This is not the version soaked with lots of gooey cheese and in calorie-rich layers.  I love eggplant cooked any style, and we usually grill it in summer.  My son only likes it breaded, so this dish is perfect for him.  I lightly saute it up until crispy then bake it like the traditional version, but in one layer with a small dollop of fresh, homemade marinara sauce (infused with fresh cut strips of basil) and a couple  small pieces of bochinni mozzarella (small balls thinly sliced).  No layers or drenched in sauce.  Okay, I love the traditional way we are all familiar with for a splurge, but this is lighter and feels more authentically Italian to me and reminds me of those thin slices of pizza with small bits of fresh mozzarella on top you can buy in most Italia venditores 
Note: (I'm referring to those little vendors/cafes all over Roma where you can buy pizza to go, not like the pizza we get here in the States. Rather, it is thin crust with only little bits of cheese with veggies or meat.  The cheese is not totally melted and very fresh, and there is almost always basil on top.  

  While I saute the eggplant I make the marinara sauce in only a few minutes - it's a quick sauce and unlike a bolognese it does not need to cook slowly over time, but should be a light fresh tomato flavor.  I like to make marinara in summer when we can pick tomatoes from the garden, but in winter I use the canned tomatoes.  We shared it with a small plate of rigatoni and a salad.  

Take a look:
bochinni cheese are small balls of mozzarella.  
I prefer to buy it this way and can use them
either fresh in a salad, marinated with herbs on a crudite plate
 or sliced on top of a dish for melting for a small amount of mozzarella
source:  my delicious Pinterest board

meatless sauce, literally takes a few minutes to make
I set up my eggplant station of milk/egg, breadcrumbs and sliced eggplant
 come back soon for my fresh marinara sauce 
(only takes a few minutes to make)

Tamara's Eggplant Parmigiana
One large eggplant
one clove garlic sliced thin
olive oil
bread crumbs
2 eggs
2 TBS milk
10 small bochinni mozzarella balls 
4 large basil leaves cut into strips with a scissor
homemade marinara sauce
sprinkle of coarsely grated parmigiana cheese (off the block of cheese)
get to work:
peel the eggplant and slice thinly (I got 12 slices with this large one)
drench in egg/milk solution 
(whip the egg and milk together until blended and place in a shallow bowl)
then cover with breadcrumbs
heat olive oil in a pan still smoking a bit, 
add the eggplant (do not crowd the pan and only fry a few at a time)
the last minute of the first batch of eggplant I sprinkle the sliced garlic
take the eggplant and garlic out 
let the eggplant drain on a paper towel.
lay in a shallow pan eggplant out on one layer
dollop a small amount marinara on each slice (don't cover the whole slice with sauce) 
sprinkle a few slices of mozzarella
sprinkle a few fresh basil strips on each slice
a pinch of parmigiana cheese
Bake in the oven at 375 degrees for 5-10 minutes 
or until the cheese melts

make sure to brown the eggplant sufficiently until deep golden so it is crispy enough to handle the sauce and cheese and hold it's firmness when baking 
Happy Nesting XO

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