we have two versions of this dish in my family
i am of italian decent
on both sides of my family
is a family favorite
but the technique
is not the same
while both are quite good
i prefer the recipe from my maternal side
which is lighter on the sauce and cheese
giving the eggplant a real starring role
this is true comfort food for me
when i would return home from college
for holidays and summer break
this would be part of the meal
greeting my arrival
chicken cutlet and roasted asparagus
big glass of milk
its kinda like
a big tight hug
2 large eggplant
5 or 6 eggs
about 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
about 1 1/2- 2 cups mozzarella (not the fresh kind floating in the water)--grated
about 3 cups prepared marinara sauce
salt and pepper
cut the eggplant crosswise into about 1/4" slices. lay slices in layers on paper towel. let sit 6 hours or overnight at room temperature (i know, i know...but i have never gotten sick and i stand by this method.) you can alternately salt the eggplant and let it sit in a colander to drain for an hour..but i am not a fan and i don't think it gives as good a result...just sayin'. the idea is to get the eggplant to dry out a bit.
whisk the eggs with a bit of salt and pepper...a pinch or so of each... in a shallow bowl. dip the eggplant into the egg.
fry in batches in a bit of olive oil until each side is golden brown
at this point you can cool and then place in freezer bags for future use. i like to fry up a bunch of eggplant and have it at the ready.
take your standard casserole dish (8x13 or so) and put a bit of sauce on the botton. not so much that the eggplant will swim in it, but enough to keep the eggplant moist and keep everything from sticking. place a layer of eggplant on top, slightly overlapping the pieces. put a bit of sauce on top...a thin but complete layer. sprinkle some parmesan cheese---not a heavy hand, but a nice even layer and then place a light handed layer of mozzarella randomly on top. if you love, love, love cheese...do whatever you want at this step. repeat steps for at least 3 layers, but not more than 4 layers (of eggplant). divide your ingredients accordingly..so you have the same amount of each ingredient in each layer. top with a bit of sauce and this is where you can get heavy with the cheese...it just looks so good all melty and gooey.
place in a 350F oven for about 35 minutes or until it is bubbling with goodness and the cheese begins to brown a bit. you can also wrap this up and pop in the freezer for another day.
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