Schirripa's aubergine parmigiana

Schirripa's aubergine parmigiana
  • 1 large aubergine
  • 2 eggs
  • 60ml milk
  • 3 cups flavoured/seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 6 tbsps olive oil
  • Tomato sauce, recipe follows
  • 450g fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 3/4 cups Pecorino Romano cheese
  • For the tomato sauce
  • 3 tbsps olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tsp water
  • 1 (790g) tin tomatoes with their juices, diced
  • 2 tbsps chopped fresh basil leaves or 1/2 tsp dried
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
1) Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4.

2) Start by cutting the top and bottom off the aubergine. Cut it into 0.25cm slices. Whisk two eggs with 60ml milk. Lay out three cups of breadcrumbs on paper towel. In a large skillet, heat the 6 tablespoons oil.

3) Take each piece of aubergine and dip in the egg wash, then in breadcrumbs, making sure to completely cover each piece with breadcrumbs, and then fry in hot oil. Brown each slice of aubergine. Occasionally change the oil; you don't want to continue cooking aubergine slices with burnt loose breadcrumbs. Place fried aubergine on paper towel to absorb some of the oil. Slice the fresh mozzarella.

4) Line the bottom of an 27-by-22cm glass pan with a layer of sauce. Place a layer of aubergine, followed by slice of mozzarella and a heaped layer of sauce, then sprinkle with a layer of Pecorino Romano cheese. Repeat and stack about 3-4 aubergine layers high. Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes. You know it's ready when the sauce bubbles and the cheese is melted.

Tomato sauce:
1) Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a saucepan over medium heat until it becomes fragrant. Mix the garlic with 1 teaspoon water and carefully add this to the warm oil. Saute the garlic and cook without browning it.

2) Add the tomatoes, bring to a boil and then reduce the heat. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add the basil, salt and sugar, and simmer 5 more minutes.

3) Just before serving, blend in the last tablespoon of olive oil.

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