- Bechamel sauce
- Oil for Frying
- Prosciutto cotto (sliced deli ham)
- Parmesan cheese
- First you need to prep the eggplant. Cut the ends of the eggplant off then cut the skin off 2 sides of the eggplant to make it flat. The picture above the 'Ingredients' list shows an example of this.
- Next cut the eggplant into about 1cm thick strips. The desired effect is to have long flat strips that will effectively be used like lasagna noodles.
- Layer the strips of eggplant into a colander and sprinkle salt over them and between each layer. Weight the eggplant down (I use my heavy mortar and pestle on top of a plate) and leave it to drain for at least an hour.
- In the meantime pull your mozzarella into about golf ball sized chunks and allow that to drain while the eggplant does.
- After the eggplant slices have drained for an hour, rinse and pat them dry.
- Now dip the eggplant into the scrambled egg mixture and then into the flour until well coated.
- When the oil is ready put the strips into the oil and fry until they are golden brown on both sides. *Make sure not to crowd the pan and give the pieces some space while they fry.
- Once you have fried all the eggplant you can mix your bechamel sauce with your marinara creating a pink sauce.
- Place a spoonful or so in the pan and spread it so it covers the bottom.
- Now add a layer of the fried eggplant so that they cover the pan and slightly overlap.
- Now add a layer of sauce, a layer of ham, a layer of cheese and then a small sprinkle of parm, black pepper and nutmeg.
- Repeat these eggplant, sauce, ham, cheese and spices layers until you are out of food or space. I usually get about 3 or 4 layers depending on the pan I'm using.
- For the final layer just add the last of the sauce, cheese and the spices.
- Place it in a preheated oven at 400 degrees for 40 minutes.
*This is a method and not an exact recipe. You will need to adjust amounts for how many people you are cooking for.
*You will need a solid 3 hours to make this but I promise you wont regret it!
*This recipe freezes well and also is amazing to make in advance and reheat.
In honor of Mother’s Day I am posting my mother-in-law’s version of eggplant parm. In Italy each region has adopted ways of personalizing traditional dishes. In Sicily they add hard boiled eggs and in Salento they egg and flour the eggplant before frying the way we do chicken.
This dish takes a while to make but it is the ultimate comfort food just oozing with love (and cheese.) It's like a big hug from Mamma Luciana and now from me. Baci and Happy Mother’s Day! xoxo