Eggplant Parmesan “alla Milanese.” I’ve always liked to try new dishes. When I had many eggplants (aubergines) in my garden I came across across this Jamie Oliver aubergine recipe on a television program. So I decided to adapt it to my own taste. The recipe evolved into what it is now, and can change with turning of the seasons. Substitute chicken, veal, or zucchini for the eggplant for variety.
Here is another variation for Easy Pasta with Tomatoes and Basil.
- One 250 gram (9 ounce) eggplant
- Sea salt, as needed
- 2 large free-range eggs
- 100 grams (3 ounces) rosemary focaccia
- Olive oil
- 20 grams (7 ounces) Parmesan cheese
- 150 grams (5 ounces) uncooked spaghetti or linguini
- 2 cloves garlic. peeled and thinly sliced
- 400 grams (14 ounces) canned cherry tomatoes
- 1 bunch fresh basil
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas 4 (350°F).
2. Cut the skin off either side of the eggplant, then cut four 1 cm (1/3 inch)-thick slices lengthwise (saving any offcuts for another day). Sprinkle the slices with sea salt, and spend a couple of minutes gently bashing and tenderizing them with a meat mallet or rolling pin. Take a piece of kitchen paper and dab off the liquid from both sides of the slices.
3. Beat the eggs in a shallow bowl. Blitz the focaccia into fine crumbs in a food processor and pour onto a plate. Dip the eggplant slices in the egg, let any excess drip off, then dip each side in the crumbs. Fry in a large non-stick frying pan on a medium-high heat with 15 ml (1 tablespoon) of olive oil until golden, turning halfway, about 6 minutes.
4. Transfer to an oiled baking tray, finely grate over most of the Parmesan and pop into the oven. Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in a pan of boiling salted water according to the packet instructions.
5. Wipe out the frying pan, returning it to a medium-high heat with 7.5 ml (½ tablespoon) oil. Add the garlic, and fry until lightly golden.
6. Pour in the tomatoes, then swirl a splash of water around the tomato can and add it into the pan. Pick some of the baby basil leaves and put aside, tear the rest into the sauce, season to perfection, then leave to simmer on a low heat.
7. Once cooked, use tongs to drag the spaghetti straight into the sauce, letting a little starchy cooking water go with it. Toss together, then divide between plates. Sit the eggplant on top, grate over the remaining Parmesan and finish with the baby basil leaves.