Entree - Appetizer - Can be vegetarian and gluten free (READ notes at bottom)
3 medium eggplant
8 oz mozzarella, roughly chopped
1 28-oz can of peeled Italian San Marzano tomatoes (pureed)
1/2 cup parmigiano, grated
3 tbsp breadcrumbs, not seasoned!
6 slices ham
1 garlic clove
1/4 cup chopped parsley
4 tbsp Italian extra virgin olive oil
salt, pepper (optional)
Cut the eggplant lengthwise into 1/4" slices (you can cut them crosswise, if you prefer)
In a saucepan over medium heat, warm up 2 tbsp of olive oil and sautee garlic in it, until golden, then add the tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, if you like it; let it boil for 15 minutes to thicken the sauce. Remove from heat and stir parsley in.
Meanwhile, heat a non- stick skillet and sautee the eggplant slices (or, as the original recipe suggests, fry them).
Preheat oven to 400F.
Lightly grease an ovensafe casserole with olive oil, spread the bottom with tomatoes, arrange sauteed eggplant slices in a layer, cover with ham sliced, tomato sauce and top with mozzarella.
Repeat layering until you finish all ingredients. Top with tomato sauce, mozzarella, breadcrumbs and parmigiano; drizzle with olive oil and bake for 15-20 minutes, until cheese melts and top is golden.
Remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly before serving (about 5 minutes).
Quantities are for a 9x13" casserole (I made a smaller one).
- You can avoid ham, and you'll have a vegetarian dish.
- Avoid breadcrumbs in order to have a gluten free dish.
- You can use our mix of Italian parsley, garlic and hot pepper flakes (if you don't have fresh ingredients), in your sauce.
- If you have some parmigiana left, you can freeze it in individual portions, to be used when you need a quick dinner.
- I crumbled some bratwurst (I don't like fennel seeds that are in Italian sausages here in the US) on top. Sorry picture was taken when the dish was cold already... Bottom picture has been taken right after warming it up!!!