Prep 1 hr
Cook 1 hr
This a recipe I changed slightly from a show called Season by Season with host Michael Chiarello. In the original recipe he only breads the eggplant with flour seasoned with pepper, but when I tried that it seemed too bland, so I coated them with the flour, dipped them in eggwhites, and coated them again with Italian breadcrumbs. It takes a little more time, but it is worth it! It tastes like it should come from a gourmet restaurant!
Thick tomato sauce
- 2 cups diced red bell peppers
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 2 cups diced red onions (1/4-inch dice)
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 (28 ounce) can whole tomatoes, chopped
- 1 1⁄2 cups strong chicken stock or 1 1⁄2 cups vegetable stock
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil
- 2 1⁄2 lbs eggplants
- 2 -4 cups pure olive oil or 2 -4 cups peanut oil, for frying
- 1 cup all-purpose flour (more as needed)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 1 cup all whites egg white, in the carton
- 2 cups Italian breadcrumbs (or as much as needed to bread eggplant)
- 1⁄2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1⁄2 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1⁄2 cup chopped fresh basil
- 1⁄2 lb chevre cheese (fresh goat cheese)
- 3 tablespoons fine dry breadcrumbs
- Directions for the Thick tomato sauce:.
- Heat 3 tblspns olive oil in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat until hot.
- Add the bell pepper and sauté until brown, about 5 minutes.
- Add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, if necessary, and the garlic, and cook briefly until light brown.
- Add the onion and cook until brown, about 5 minutes.
- Add the tomato paste and stir to mix well.
- Add the tomatoes and their juice, the stock, and bay leaf.
- Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer the sauce until thick, about 25 minutes, be sure to stir often to prevent scorching.
- Add the butter, oregano, parsley, and basil and stir well. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.
- Use immediately, or let cool, cover, and refrigerate for several days, or freeze for up to 1 month.
- Directions for the lasgnette:.
- Cut the eggplant lengthwise into 1/8 to 1/4-inch-thick slices. Salt for 20 minutes, then rinse thoroughly and pat dry.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Pour the olive oil into a large skillet to a depth of 1 inch and place over medium-high heat until hot, about 350°F Meanwhile, season the flour with the pepper.
- Dredge the slices in the flour, then dip in eggwhites, and then coat with dry breadcrumbs.
- Fry, turning once, until browned, about 2 minutes total. Drain on paper towels. Note: The oil should be hot enough to bubble while the eggplant is cooking but be careful not to let them burn.
- Add more oil as necessary to maintain the oil at a depth of about 1 inch.
- Spread a thin layer of the tomato sauce in the bottom of a 2-1/2-quart baking dish. Arrange a layer of eggplant in the dish to cover the bottom completely.
- Spoon on another layer of sauce, and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan, 1 tablespoon of the parsley and basil, and dot with one-third of the chevre.
- Repeat the layering twice, beginning with eggplant and ending with chevre.
- Do not press down on the layers.
- Top with the remaining eggplant and then another thin layer of sauce.
- Sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan (about 3 tablespoons), parsley (about 2 tablespoons), and the breadcrumbs.
- Bake until browned and bubbling, about 20-30 minutes. Do not over-brown.
- Let rest a few minutes before cutting into squares to serve. Serve hot or warm, drizzled with the garlic or basil oil if desired.