Aired October 12, 2009
1 small onion, very finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, pasted (minced then mashed with salt) or grated
1 28-ounce can San Marzano tomatoes
1 14-ounce can tomato sauce or pure
A handful of basil leaves, torn, plus a few for garnish
Salt and pepper
4 small, firm eggplant, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices
Flour, for dredging
2 large eggs, beaten with a splash of water
1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs, eyeball it
1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, divided
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped, a handful
Olive oil, for frying
1 pound ball fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
1 pound egg tagliatelle or fettuccine
2 tablespoons butter
Heat EVOO in a saucepot over medium heat, add onions and cook 8-10 minutes. Add garlic and cook 2 minutes more. Add tomatoes and sauce or pure, some torn basil, salt and pepper. Reduce heat and simmer 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally and breaking up tomatoes.
Meanwhile, season the eggplant slices with salt and let drain in a colander 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375F.
Coat eggplant slices in flour, the beaten eggs, then breadcrumbs mixed with 3/4 cup (3 handfuls) of cheese and parsley.
Heat a thin layer of olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Fry eggplant 3-4 minutes on each side then drain the slices on paper towels set over cooling rack. Heat up more oil in the pan, if necessary, and repeat frying process until all the eggplant is cooked.
Dot a casserole dish with some of the tomato sauce then arrange the eggplant in an overlapping layer. Dot the eggplant with more sauce and top with mozzarella. Bake 20 minutes until bubbly.
Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Add salt and the pasta, and cook to al dente, then drain and place back in pot. Toss pasta with butter, a handful of cheese and tomato sauce.
Serve the eggplant parm with some pasta alongside.