Many are the Italian recipes for Parmigiana. I prefer the easiest Eggplants Parmigiana my Sicilian grandma taught me, with Pecorino substituting Parmigiano.
Among all the recipes for Parmigiana, these are my favorite: with fried eggplants, plain tomato sauce, a lot of fresh basil and Pecorino, and no crumb mixture at all.
- 4 eggplants (dark)
- Oil for frying
- 1 bottle of tomato sauce
- Garlic or onion
- Fresh basil
- Roman Pecorino (With black rind)
Step 1: cover the burner with foil, in this way you will not sprinkle it with oil and sauce.
Cut eggplant in slice of 2 cm thick. The tradition asks for eggplant to be drained covered with salt to lose their bitter taste. Place raw eggplant in a colander set in the sink and sprinkle with salt. Leave to drain and sweat under a weight (e.g. a clean saucepan filled of water). Rinse and pat dry.
To be honest, I never follow this procedure, too long and boring for me: I leave the eggplant to drain after fried. In this way they lose the bitter taste as well as the oil in excess.
I prefer cutting the eggplant in round slices, because in this recipe they are singularly served. Otherwise, if you add mozzarella cheese, you should better cut lengthwise, then make portion with a knife, as they were a baked lasagna.
Fry the eggplant in a lot of oil, until golden, then leave to dry on paper towels.
If you act like me, you can place them in a colander, with or without a weight, to leave them lose their bitter and exceeding oil.
Now let’s prepare a thick tomato sauce, with onion or clove of garlic to be discarder after. Add a little oil too, and some leaves of fresh basil, a pinch of sugar to avoid the tartness of tomatoes and sprinkle with salt. You need an excellent tomato sauce, otherwise your dish will be ruined.
Alternately place layers of eggplants, spoons of sauce, fresh chopped basil, grated Roman Pecorino. The Pecorino cheese will add to Parmigiana a more intense taste. You can also use Parmigiano, but the final taste will be less rich. If you desire an even more intense taste, use grated salted ricotta. Just mind to adjust seasoning in the sauce, to avoid too much salt.
I put less tomato sauce, even because eggplant slices are needed entire and single. If you prepare a pan and bake in oven, you can also add more tomato sauce.
Serve them cold or warm, in many single slice (making no portions).
The result is a pan with many layers of fried eggplants, seasoned with Pecorino, sauce and basil. Remember to set aside for at least 2 hours. It is better if you prepare it a day before, cover, and refrigerate.
I usually serve it at room temperature, removing from refrigerator about 2 hours before serving. Having no mozzarella cheese inside, you don’t need to heat in oven.