Now at the end of a a really tough first term this year, now this is a term where it saw my family move interstate, start new schools and jobs, me move from part-time to fulltime so LOTS of changes........I was EXHAUSTED!!!!
Well to reward myself I travelled to an old stomping ground the Capital of the country.... Canberra a much loved destination.... I met with fabulous friends, drank many, many cocktails, eating wonderful meals and giggling until I cried.... an absolute blast! A weekend of pure mummy indulgence! Well, while in the countries capital we ventured to an exccellent Italian resturant, "Italian and sons", we ate and ate and ate some more, it was fabulous! oh not to mention wonderful champagne and wine!!!
While we were there we shared some wonderful dishes... one of them being eggplant parmigiana..... OMG it was to DIE for! seriously sooooooo good! so I knew in an instant my family were going to be my guinea pigs while I perfected this recipe.... now below is a 'good' recipe my boys and I loved it, but it is still missing something, so I have decided to share but may update if I can discover that missing ingredient.... That all said this is an original recipe...... OMG fall over!!!! all MINE!!!!! hope you like and can make sense of it all....
2 400g tins chopped tomatoes
2 red onions finely diced
2 eggplants, sliced 1/2cm thick
5 cloves garlic
1 finely dice red capsicum
250g ricotta cheese
1 tub mozzarella sliced (if you cannot get a hold of mozzarella 1 tub of bocconcini works just the same)
2 tbs tomato paste
1/2 freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 cup red wine
prepare all vegetables, in a thick based pan, I love my LeChasseur red cast iron pot.... I use it at all opportunities!!! splash some olive oil and heat pan, sweat off garlic, capsicum, and onion, until soft, add paste and cook off for 1-2 minutes, add red wine and cook for one minute to cook out alcohol. Add the tomatoes and nutmeg and turn down to a low simmer and leave for about an hour, the sauce will thicken and send a divine smell throughout your house! I promise it smells fantastic!!! now while this is cooking you need to sprinkle each peice of eggplant with salt (not too much!!!!) I then place in a colander put a plate on top to cover then weigh down to extract the water from eggplant.
Leave eggplant for at least 1/2hour. Once suace is thicker, sprinkle with some fresh basil thinly sliced, rince and dry eggplant between paper towels.Its time to start layering....... start with tomato sauce, eggplant, ricotta, mozzarella then repeat until the dish is full, finishing with tomato and grated parmesan cheese. Bake in an oven at 180 for half an hour, I served it with salad..... Honest to goodness this did turn out great! kids and Hubby loved it and no one knew it was a vege meal!!! SO I challenge all to a Meat free Meal once per week..... ours is generally Mondays!!!
happy cooking xx