PARMIGIANA DI MELANZANE

Who is in of a delicious vegetarian meal, which had originated from Italy, when the Italians came to our island of Trinidad and Tobago to settle all those many years ago, and every generation from since that time has tried to create their own style and flavor to the dish.

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2 kg eggplants
2 tins tomatoes
¼ kg parmesan
6 garlic cloves
basil leaves or oregano leaves mashed
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp olive oil

Peel eggplants and slice them, each in 4 to 5 thick slices – sprinkle both sides with salt – leave for 2 hours – they will bleed out the bitter taste – wash them and drain off all water. Deep fry the eggplant in olive oil (or corn oil) in a large frying pan until they are light brown – they drink the oil. They do not have to be too soft. Take them out and let the oil drip onto a kitchen paper towel to eliminate excess oil.  Prepare tomato sauce, in a medium size pot put olive oil and garlic and sauté till light brown, add the tins of tomatoes – crush the tomatoes – gently boil them and reducing them to half their original liquid volume.  Add salt and fresh basil or oregano leaves mashed, cover and let it cook on a medium fire for 5 more minutes. The sauce should not be too thick.  Use a cooking tray for oven. Lay six slices of eggplant and cover with tomato sauce and grated parmesan or local hard cheese. Lay six more slices of eggplant on top of the first ones and cover again with tomato sauce and grated parmesan cheese – it can be done three layers for bigger portions. Bake for 10 minutes in oven at 120°C (250°F). Wait ten minutes before cutting in 4 to 8 portions. Serve lukewarm and garnish with basil leaves.  If, by luck you made too much, this is even more tasty served cold with a fresh green salad

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