My good friend, Margaret, has graciously shared her recipe of that wonderful dish we had on Labor Day weekend at her house.
The weather is getting perfect for a homey dish like this. Makes you want to crawl right into it … and eat it forever … pure yumminess! Hope you all enjoy.
THANK YOU MARGARET!!!
-serves 6 – 8
Eggplants, 8 small
Mozzarella, 2 balls
Large bunch of basil
Tomatoes [maybe 3 to 3.5 lbs? cored and chopped]
Select eight smallish eggplants. I suggest eggplants that are slightly smaller than your hand. Slice into ½-inch rounds and sauté in olive oil until golden. Salt and pepper lightly, turn and continue to sauté until golden and tender. Add additional olive oil as needed. Drain on paper towels.
Slice two balls of mozzarella. Grate parmigiano reggiano. Chop a large bunch of basil. Set aside.
To make the tomato sauce, core and chop whatever ripe to over-ripe tomatoes you have at hand. Add sliced garlic and olive oil (about 1/4 cup for an 8 cup potful). Cook at a low boil until most of the water has evaporated, stirring as needed.
To hasten the process, use a potato masher to loosen the “meat” of the tomato chunks. Blend in a food processor until smooth. Preheat oven to 375 – 425 degrees, depending on your oven.
Layer in a baking dish: half of eggplant slices, half of tomato sauce, half of parmigiano (should cover all of the surface “thickly” but not too much), mozzarella, basil, and then the remainder of eggplant, tomato sauce and parmigiano. Bake covered for 15 minutes, then uncover and bake until the dish is bubbly and the cheese has browned.
Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes. Then cut into squares and mangia, mangia!