Mario Batali’s Eggplant Parmesan and a minor kitchen emergency.
We have an emergency at a dinner! The adventure occurs at my cousins Mark/Jen’s – breadcrumbs in the broiler set aflame while making Mario Batali’s Eggplant Parmesan recipe. I start googling “How to put out a kitchen fire” while everything is burning and we are trying to stay calm. It’s a surreal experience. But the internet tells me to just keep the oven door closed and let it burn out. It actually works!
Despite the crazy fire situation, the dish turns out excellent. Mark makes a homemade sauce, and adds lots of cheese. Both Mozzarella and Parmigiano-Reggiano. You can put those two cheeses on anything and it will taste good, as far as I know.
This dish requires patience. But the payoff is worth it!
They serve it with angel hair pasta and salad. It’s the perfect vegetarian meal worth fighting a fire for.
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 large eggplant, about 2 pounds
- Salt and pepper
- 2 cups homemade tomato sauce
- 1 bunch fresh basil leaves, chiffonade
- 1 pound fresh mozzarella, sliced 1/8-inch thick
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs, lightly toasted under broiler
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
- Grease a baking sheet with oil. Slice each eggplant into 6 pieces about 1 to 1 1/2 inches thick. Lightly season with salt and pepper and put them on the sheet.
- Bake 12-15 minutes, until the eggplants are brown, and place them on a plate to cool. Lower the oven to 350 degrees F.
- In 8x12 pan, place 4 eggplant slices at the bottom. Spread 1/4 cup of tomato sauce and a sprinkle of basil. Add mozzarella slices over each piece of eggplant and top with 1 teaspoon grated Parmigiana. Repeat the layering process until you use everything up and reach the top.
- Sprinkle the toasted bread crumbs over the top and bake uncovered about 20 minutes until the top is brown and the cheese melts. Serve immediately.