- 1.5kg large purple eggplant
- 2-3 handfuls sea salt flakes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 brown onion, finely diced
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1.4L Mutti Passata
- Rice bran oil to fry the eggplant
- 150g Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
- Finely grated 350g bocconcini
- Finely diced Basil leaves
- Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Wash and dry the eggplants then cut the tops off and discard.
2. Using a mandolin slicer, slice the eggplants lengthways 3-4mm thick.
3. Sprinkle salt on the eggplant slices and then layer them on top of each other in a colander and place something heavy on top to press down on them. The eggplant slices will sweat and purge themselves of any bitterness. Leave the eggplant slices to sweat for 1 hour.
4. Meanwhile make the sauce. In a large saucepan heat the olive oil and then add the onion and garlic and sauté, stirring constantly, until the onion is translucent.
5. Add the Mutti Passata and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook over low heat for 45mins.
6. Once cooked, add a handful of torn basil leaves.
7. Rinse the eggplant slices in water and pat dry.
8. In a large frying pan, pour 1cm of rice bran oil and heat to 170°C. Fry the eggplant slices in batches for 1.5mins each side then drain on paper towel.
9. Preheat oven to 190°C.
10. To assemble the eggplant parmigiana, use a large rectangular baking dish. Place a couple of spoonfuls of sauce in the bottom and top with a layer of eggplant slices.
11. Sprinkle with Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, season with pepper and top with a handful of bocconcini. Repeat with remaining sauce, eggplant and cheese until you have used all the eggplant. Press down gently to compact the layers.
12. On top of the last layer of eggplant, pour the remaining tomato sauce and cheese. Place in the oven and bake for 40 minutes.
13. Once baked, leave the parmigiana to settle for 10 minutes before serving.