Aubergine parmigiana - a Perfect Dish for Summer Days


Aubergine parmigiana - a Perfect Dish for Summer Days
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Description: Aubergine parmigiana, also known as eggplant Parmesan, is a classic Italian dish that combines layers of tender, fried aubergine slices with rich tomato sauce and gooey melted cheese, baked to perfection. This hearty and flavorful casserole is a comfort food staple that brings the authentic taste of Italy to your kitchen. Ideal for family dinners or special occasions, aubergine parmigiana is not only delicious but also an excellent way to enjoy the nutritious benefits of aubergines. The combination of savory tomato sauce, aromatic herbs, and creamy cheese creates a harmonious balance of flavors and textures that is sure to please both vegetarians and meat-lovers alike.

Ingredients:

Preparation Mode:

Start by preheating your oven to 375°F (190°C) and lining two baking sheets with parchment paper. Slice the aubergines into 1/4-inch thick rounds and sprinkle them with salt, letting them sit in a colander for about 30 minutes to draw out excess moisture and bitterness. While the aubergines are resting, prepare the breading station: place all-purpose flour in one shallow bowl, beat eggs in a second shallow bowl, and combine breadcrumbs with half of the grated Parmesan cheese in a third shallow bowl.

After 30 minutes, rinse the aubergine slices under cold water and pat them dry with paper towels. Dredge each slice in flour, dip it into the beaten eggs, and coat it with the breadcrumb-Parmesan mixture, pressing lightly to ensure an even coating. Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and fry the breaded aubergine slices in batches until golden brown and crisp, about 2-3 minutes per side.

Transfer the fried aubergine slices to a paper towel-lined plate to drain excess oil. In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat and sauté finely chopped onion and minced garlic until softened and fragrant. Add marinara sauce, dried oregano, red pepper flakes, fresh basil, fresh thyme, and a pinch of sugar to the pan, stirring to combine, and let the sauce simmer for 15-20 minutes to develop flavors.

In a large baking dish, spread a thin layer of marinara sauce on the bottom and arrange a layer of fried aubergine slices on top. Sprinkle a portion of the remaining grated Parmesan cheese and some shredded mozzarella cheese over the aubergine slices. Repeat the layering process, alternating between aubergine slices, marinara sauce, Parmesan cheese, and mozzarella cheese, until all ingredients are used, ending with a final layer of marinara sauce and a generous topping of both cheeses.

Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking for an additional 20-25 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown. Allow the aubergine parmigiana to rest for 10 minutes before serving, garnished with freshly chopped parsley.

Enjoy this delectable dish warm, with a side of crusty bread or a fresh green salad. Each bite of aubergine parmigiana is a delightful blend of crispy, tender aubergine, rich tomato sauce, and melted cheese, making it a perfect meal for any occasion.