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Eggplant Parmesan

Ingredients:

  • 2 large eggplants, cut crosswise into 1/3-inch-thick rounds
  • 3 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 24 oz. crushed tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • About 20 fresh basil leaves, torn in half
  • Fresh cracked pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 lb chilled fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced

Directions:

  1. Toss eggplant with 2 teaspoons salt in a colander set over a bowl, then let drain 30 minutes.
  2. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a large stock pot over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then add garlic and sauté, stirring, until golden, about 30 seconds.  Add crushed tomatoes, basil, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and red pepper flakes and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, 25-30 minutes.
  3. Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 375°F.  Stir together flour, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a shallow bowl. Lightly beat eggs in a second shallow bowl.  Working with 1 slice at a time, dredge eggplant in flour, shaking off excess, and then dip in egg, letting excess drip off. Transfer eggplant to sheets of wax paper, arranging slices in 1 layer.
  4. Heat remaining 1 1/2 cups oil in a deep 12-inch nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then fry eggplant slices, turning over once, until golden brown, 5-6 minutes per batch. Transfer with tongs to paper towels to drain.
  5. Spread 1 cup tomato sauce in bottom of a rectangular 3 1/2-quart (13- by 11- by 2-inch) baking dish.  Arrange about one third of eggplant slices in 1 layer over sauce, overlapping slightly if necessary.  Cover eggplant with about one third of remaining sauce (about 11/4 cups) and one third of mozzarella and Parmesan.  Continue layering with remaining eggplant, sauce, and cheeses.  Sprinkle top with remaining 1/3 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano.  Bake, uncovered, until cheese is melted and golden and sauce is bubbling, 35-40 minutes.

*Adapted from Gourmet

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