I would be lying if I didn’t say yesterday was hectic. I was busy all day long; the kind of busy where you can’t even find time to eat and are forced to attempt several tasks at once. I am a bit of a perfectionist with some things and not so much with others-making me a choosy perfectionist, is that redundant?
I love being busy and I thrive when I do projects but like many other people, I do not like menial work. Unfortunately, that seems to consume my time these days. I’m not much of a (servant) homemaker but official unemployment will do that to you. I work, I just don’t get paid for anything (yet) and I’m trying to change that.
Part of my busy day was prolonged by the dish I made and I suggest that you have over an hour to cook when you make this- classic and tasty eggplant parmigiana. I suppose you could make the tomato sauce ahead of time or even use your favorite store-bought jar but I made mine an hour before and simmered it until I was ready to put the layers together.
This was my first eggplant dish in years. My last experience didn’t go very well and while I think eggplants are beautiful, I decided I didn’t enjoy their taste. I think I made a mistake with the first recipe because I enjoyed this dish as much as my lasagna. Greg, of course, wanted my lasagna due to the meat sauce but said it was nevertheless excellent.
I came across this recipe from the blog Angela’s Food Love but decided to add some ricotta since that is one of my favorite layers in lasagna. If you prefer cottage cheese, add that instead or none. It’s your thing, do what you want to do-like the songs says.
* Random statement: I’m in the mood to watch a satirical movie, any suggestions?
¼ cup olive oil
1 small white onion
2 tbsp shallots, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
20 basil leaves, shredded
pinch of red pepper flakes
3 15 ounce cans crushed or diced tomatoes
2 medium eggplants, sliced lengthwise into half-inch thick pieces
1 ½ cups grated parmesan
10-12 ounces ricotta
1 ½ cups shredded mozzarella
about 2 cups of oil for frying
1 cup of flour for dredging
Make sauce first (if making yourself): Heat olive oil in saucepan over medium heat and add garlic, shallot, onion and red pepper flakes. Simmer for 5 minutes until onion is soft and then add basil, salt/pepper and tomatoes. Simmer for 45 minutes or so and while the sauce is doing its thing, prep the eggplant.
Eggplant: After slicing, salt both sides and let them sit for 20 minutes to draw out the moisture. Then, rinse and pat dry. Heat 1 cup of oil in pan over medium/high heat, dredge slices in flour and fry for 1-2 minutes on each side until light brown. Place on paper towel to rid of some oil. You will probably need to add the remaining oil halfway through frying.
Preheat the oven to 400. Cover bottom of a large pan with sauce and begin layering with eggplant slices, sauce, half of the ricotta, half of the other cheeses and repeat once more ending with mozzarella. Bake 20 minutes until cheese is melted.