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Having a longstanding connection to all things Italian, eons ago I delved into the language, the culture and the food. Ah, the food. Enough said.

We’ve all had eggplant parmigiana. Many of us have a favorite recipe. This recipe may bump yours by a notch or two. The fact that it doesn’t rely on oodles of oil and masses of goopy cheese, hmmmmm, sounds good, tastes better.

My inspiration for eggplant parmigiana is multifold. It is a favorite dish of my mother-in-law, who just turned double eight. A favorite dish of my good friend Mimi who is ‘6-0’ today and it brings me spiritually closer to my good friend Jojo – my dear partner in everything Italian.

This version of eggplant parmigiana was drawn from Jamie Oliver’s jaime’s italy’, melanzane alla parmigiana. I can’t deny that it takes work. But I can assure you that you will decide it was worth the effort.

Eggplant Parmigiana

  • 2-3 large firm eggplant
  • olive oil
  • 2 onions peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic finely sliced
  • 2 heaping t dried oregano
  • 2 28oz cans of good quality plum tomatoes or 5 Ibs ripe
  • sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 T wine vinegar
  • 2 large handfuls of fresh basil leaves
  • 4 large handfuls of parmesan cheese
  • 2 handfuls of dried breadcrumbs
  • a little fresh oregano, leaves chopped
  • optional 1 5-oz ball of buffalo mozzarella

Saute the onions, garlic and dried oregano for about 10 minutes, in a tablespoon of olive oil until soft and slightly golden.

This Pampered Chef tool is ideal for breaking up the plum tomatoes.

Add the chopped tomatoes to the onions, covering and simmering for 15 minutes. Then add salt, pepper, wine vinegar and the chopped basil.

Slice the eggplant 1/3 inch thick then grill on both sides until golden and translucent using one of those grill pans like the one from Pampered Chef that comes with a press.

Use a 10x6x5 inch eathenware type casserole, beginning with a small amount of tomato sauce, then a thin layer of pamigiana, ending with a single layer of grilled eggplant.

Continue until you run out of ingredients ending with a parmigiana layer.

Tear the buffalo mozzarella into tiny blobs on the final parmigiana layer, then sprinkle on the bread crumbs and fresh oregano, lightly moistened with olive oil. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 35-45 minutes until golden brown.

Hard to take an elegant photo, but the flavours will entice seconds.

Thanks to Christina Abboud, Pampered Chef extraordinaire for enticing me to purchace all the lovely PC cookware that helps to make cooking pleasureful. I can’t recommend her highly enough for a fun gathering of friends and food.

Thanks to the wonderful Simms/Botner families for sampling and appreciating my Jittery Cooking. A very special thank you to Marleine for doing the dishes.

Also good to eat cold the next day.

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