Distinguished beauty, sophisticated and elegant, Sophia Loren i love! I guess lots of good things come from Naples- lqtm (laughing quietly to myself)... ~
Naturally beautiful; sexy but classy~
One of her cookbooks 'Recipes and Memories' is a favorite, it's collection not unlike much of what I saw growing up. My mom taught my sisters and me (and our only brother too [he grew up to become a renowned chef], our Alberto) and demanded the best from us; fresh ingredients and always homecooked meals. She still calls each of us every day to check-in and ask what's cookin! We feel spoiled- and thankful- having always been around such great food. There is nothing like coming home to the delicious smells of something tasty cooking in the kitchen, its good for the husband and good for the kids (and one of my most cherished memories from childhood).
Eggplant Parmesean is one of the most enjoyable, and, one of the most popular dishes in Italy. While Sophia's recipe ("Eggplant alla Parmigiana") is just a little different than the one we like to use, it's simplicity is attractive and the result is phenomenal. Try a slice of it inside some good fresh French bread: So Good!
"Eggplant alla Parmigiana"
(Serving for Four)
4 pounds eggplant
Extra-virgin oliver oil
Fresh basil leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves of garlic
1 pound canned peeled and crushed tomatos
1 / 2 cup of freshly grated parmigiano cheese
1 pound of fresh mozzerella cubed
Cut eggplant lengthwise into 1/2-inch slices. Layer the slices on a large plate, sprinkling each layer with salt. Once all of the eggplant has been sliced and layered, cover with a piece of waxed paper and then place another plate (equally sized if possible) atop it (think of it as the 'final layer') and then something of weight-like a large can of food. This will help with the draining of excess moisture. It should be allowed to drain for 2 to 3 hours.
Meanwhile, heat about two large teaspoons of the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic, when it's lightly browned add the tomatos and basil and cook until thick. Add salt & peper to taste.
Remove the plate/ weight from the eggplant, rinse the slices gently, and pat them dry. Cover the bottom of a large heavy skillet with olive oil and place it over high heat. Add the eggplant slices, browning them on both sides. Adjusting the heat and adding oil as needed. You may have to cook the eggplant pieces in more than one batch. Drain the cooked slices on paper towels and pre-heat oven to 350.
Lightly coat and oblong 9 x 12 inch oven-proof dish with tomato sauce, a layer of the eggplant slice over the sauce and sprinkle them with the cheese, then repeat until the dish is full (you should finish with a layer of sauce and cheese on top). Bake 15-20 minutes to heat-through and melt the mozzeralla. Serve at room temperature. Bon appétit!
...and don't forget some good red wine!