Aubergine Parmesan

Eggplant Parmesan |
1.35kg Aubergine
Vegetable oil
Flour spread on a plate
500g tinned, imported Italian plum tomatoes, well drained and coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

300g mozzarella, preferably buffalo-milk mozzarella
10-15 fresh basil leaves
An oven-to-table baking dish
Butter for smearing and dotting the dish
50g freshly grated parmigano-reggiano cheese

1. Peel the aubergine and slice lengthways into 1cm pieces.  Lay one layer in a colander and sprinkle with salt.  Add another layer and sprinkle with salt.  Repeat until all eggplant has been salted.  Leave for 30 minutes
2. Pat each slice dry with kitchen paper and have ready.  In a large frypan, pour enough oil until it comes 4cm up the sides.  Heat until ready for frying.

3. Dredge the aubergine slices in flour – only a few at a time.  And slip as many slices into the frypan as will fit loosely without overlapping.
4. Cook to a golden brown colour on one side, then turn and do the other side.  Do not turn more than once.

5. When both sides are done, use a slotted spoon or spatula to transfer them to a plate lined with kitchen paper.
6. Repeat for all remaining slices.
7. Put the tinned tomatoes and olive oil in a small saucepan and turn the heat to medium high, add salt, stir and cook the tomato down until it is reduced by half.
8. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celcius
9. Cut the mozzarella into the thinnest possible slices.  Wash the basil and tear each leaf into 2 or more pieces.

10. Smear the bottom and sides of the baking dish with butter.  Put in enough fried aubergine slices to line the bottom of the dish in a single layer, spread some of the cooked tomato over them, cover with a layer of mozzarealla and sprinkle liberally with grated Parmesan.
11. Spread over a few pieces of the basil then top with more slices of aubergine and start the process again, ending with a layer of aubergine on top.
12.  Sprinkle with grated Parmesan and place the dish into the oven.
13.  Bake in the over for approximately 35 minutes and the dish is golden brown.

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