Monday, February 18, 2013

eggplant parmigiana... 2 hours

the goods:
2 medium eggplants, cut into 1/4-inch rounds
2 cans (28 ounces each) whole peeled tomatoes, pureed
3 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
1 and 1/2 cups plain dried breadcrumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan (2 ounces), divided
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup vegetable oil
1 pound fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced

In a colander, toss eggplant with 2 teaspoons salt. Let stand 30 minutes. Arrange slices in a single layer on a clean dish towel and roll up tightly (like a sushi roll) to extract excess water. Meanwhile, in a medium pot, bring tomatoes and garlic to a boil. Reduce heat and cook at a rapid simmer until thickened, 30 minutes.
In a shallow dish, combine breadcrumbs and 1/4 cup Parmesan; season with salt and pepper. Put flour and eggs in two more shallow dishes. Coat eggplant in flour, shaking off excess. Dip in egg. letting excess drip off. Coat with breadcrumbs.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large straight-sided skillet, heat oil over medium-high (a few breadcrumbs should sizzle when added). In batches, fry eggplant until golden brown and tender, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Drain on paper towel.

Spread 1 cup tomato sauce in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Top with half the eggplant, overlapping slices slightly, 2 cups sauce, and half the mozzarella. Repeat with remaining eggplant, sauce, and mozzarella, then sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan.

Bake until sauce is bubbling and cheese is golden, about 30 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes before serving.

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