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Eggplant Parmigiana

Ciao Amici,
Summer in Sorrento has some unique and special flavours like pomodori, basil, zucchini flowers and eggplants…
In total honesty, my favourite summer dish is the eggplant parmigiana. I learned the “secret” of the parmigiana “Sorrento Style” from my aunt that was used to collect all the ingredients fresh from her organic garden.
This week we are going to teach our Summer students how to prepare it using the eggplants that grow in the Sant’Anna garden.

Ingredients

One of the things I admire about eggplant parmigiana is that it takes only a handful of ingredients to make, but the end result is every bit as impressive and packed with flavor.
You have five main ingredients to work with:
eggplant, Parmesan cheese, mozzarella, basil and tomato sauce.
Add some flour, eggs, oil and seasoning, and you’ve got what you need for this eggplant parmigiana recipe.

Now, my very important tip when working with eggplants. Once you’ve sliced your eggplant, lay the slices on a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Sprinkle with salt and let the eggplant sit to “sweat out” any bitterness, then pat dry.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Lay eggplant slices on a large baking sheet lined with paper towel. Sprinkle with salt and set aside for 30 minutes while you prepare the remaining ingredients.
Beat the eggs in a shallow bowl and season with salt and pepper. Place the flour on a plate next to the eggs.
Pat eggplant dry. Coat an eggplant slice in the flour, shake off the excess, then dip it into the egg and let the excess drip back into the bowl.
Repeat with the remaining slices.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan or skillet over medium heat. Working in batches if necessary, cook the eggplant slices for 5 minutes on each side, or until nicely golden. Drain well on paper towels, then continue until all the slices are fried.
Layer the tomato sauce, eggplant slices, Parmesan, basil, and mozzarella in an ovenproof serving dish.
Continue layering until all the ingredients are used, finishing with a layer of tomato sauce and the cheese on top.
Place the dish on a baking sheet and bake in 325 degrees F heated-oven for 30 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese has melted.
Remove from oven, top with extra basil leaves and serve hot.

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