Our Tuscany Untour staff Tracy Hyde has been busier than you might expect during this pandemic that has frozen travel. She has turned her talents to Zoom and invited Untourists into her kitchen to learn to make traditional Italian dishes with her.
Here’s Tracy’s recipe for eggplant parmigiana, along with wine recommendations. In addition to her normal cooking classes, Tracy will be teaching pasta making and hosting a presentation on Tuscan wines for our upcoming Virtual Weekend in Tuscany this month.
Ahead of her classes, we hope you enjoy this classic.
2 medium sized eggplants (about 2 pounds of eggplant)
About 10 ounces of Mozzarella, grated or sliced
6 ounces grated Parmesan or Grana
Large can of crushed tomatoes
1 clove garlic
A few basil leaves
Top, tail, and peel the garlic. Slice lengthwise and remove the bitter shoot.
Heat the oil in a deep frying pan.
Add the garlic as is or crush it if you prefer a stronger flavor. Don’t let the garlic brown, but when it is straw coloured, add the crushed tomatoes.
Add a little basil or oregano. Once the sauce is boiling, turn it down and cover loosely with a lid, letting some of the moisture escape.
Now put your griddle pan onto the heat.
Top and tail the washed eggplants. Slice them lengthways to about ¼ inch thick. Discard the first thin slice (It has too much thick black skin).
Grill your eggplants on a very hot griddle pan until they are quite soft and sprinkle a bit of salt on them. Remove them to a plate as they cook.
When they are all cooked, switch off the tomato sauce. Check its seasoning, and begin to assemble the parmigiana in your serving dish.
Add a little oil to the serving dish and then cover the dish with the eggplant.
Cover with a ladle full of tomato sauce (to cover the eggplant) and then add your chopped or sliced mozzarella and grated parmesan.
You may add a few fresh basil leaves at this point.
Repeat the process of eggplant, tomato, cheese, and basil until your ingredients are finished. Remember to finish with tomato and cheese.
Bake in the oven at 350 degrees fahrenheit for about half an hour.
Let the parmigiana stand for 10-15 minutes before serving.
Note that this dish can be baked right away or assembled and frozen uncooked, to be thawed and enjoyed later. Wine recommendations for this dish include Pinot Noir, Sangiovese, and Barbera.