SEAFOOD EGGPLANT PARMIGIANA
Seafood eggplant parmigiana. You heard it here first! All the makings of a deliciously bold parmigiana, but with seafood added to the soft, melt-in-your-mouth layers. This drool-worthy dish (sure to be controversial for some) defies the rule of not adding cheese to seafood….but trust me, once you try it, you will realise it’s a game changer. Proudly invented by my mamma e papa!
500g (1.10lb) calamari or squid
400g (14oz) prawns
2 medium sized eggplants
¼ onion chopped
½ glass white wine
1kg (48oz) bottles of good quality Italian Basil Sugo (Basil Pasta Sauce)
Fresh parsley chopped finely
450gr (16oz) Provolone cheese cut into small cubes
3 mixing bowls
A heavy pot (that fits into the top of the colander – to be used as a weight)
Flat baking tray
Deep rectangular baking tray
- Seafood parmigiana requires the seafood to be carefully prepared first. Using a sharp pair of scissors, cut the cleaned calamari/squid in half, remove the inside (and put it to the side), and slice it into small uneven pieces.
- Then, chop the prawns into 5-6 pieces (depending on how big they are).
VINCENZO’S PLATE TIP: Cutting them a little smaller is best, so you then get a taste of the prawns in every bite of your parmigiana!
- Chop the top of the eggplant off, then placing the eggplant on its side, slice it into thin strips and place it in layers, into a colander.
- On each layer of eggplant, sprinkle salt over the top, as this will create water and remove the bitterness from the vegetable.
- Next, put something heavy on top of the eggplants as this will help to compress them and get even more of the water out. Leave this to the side.
- Next, put a large pot on top of the stove at a medium heat and add 6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO).
- When the oil has warmed up, add the onion and slightly move it around the pan using a wooden spoon until it becomes golden.
- Now add the calamari and let them simmer for a few minutes before adding the white wine, and stirring it through until it evaporates.
- To make this seafood parmigiana even more delicious, use a great quality tomato sauce. Pour in 2 bottles, add a pinch of salt, and stir gently.
- Add a sprinkle of fresh parsley and mix once again. Then leave to cook for around 20 minutes.
- To fry the eggplants, get the colander and remove the pot or weight, then press down with your hand to remove any more of the excess water.
- Heat up sunflower oil in a wide pan to 180degrees celcius (356F) and in the mean time, get a flat plate, pour flour over the top, and cover each slice with it by placing it on top of the flour, patting it down then turning it over and repeating this.
- Once the oil is ready for frying, place a few slices of eggplant at a time into the pan, and let them cook up, turning them over every now and then to make sure they cook evenly.
VINCENZO’S PLATE TIP: By slicing them thinly, they will fry pretty quickly and need no more than 3 minutes once the oil is hot.
- Using a fork, place each eggplant side by side on the paper towels you have prepared on the trays, to let them absorb any excess oil.
- To finish the sauce, once it is cooked and turned off, add the prawns/shrimp to the pot and mix them through using a wooden spoon.
- Now it’s time to assemble this seafood creation! Pour a scoop of the sauce on to the tray, spreading it into the corners so the parmigiana doesn’t stick to it. Then add a layer of eggplant slices to the bottom, making sure to leave no gaps.
- Add generous scoops of seafood sauce to the layer of eggplants, spreading it through so it is completely covered.
- Then, add cubes of provolone cheese (some grated pecorino – optional), and start over.
- You should be able to create up to 4 layers, making sure to add cheese and sauce to the top too!
- Then, bake in the oven at 180 degrees celcious (356F), for 30 minutes.
HOW TO SERVE
Leave to rest for 5-10 minutes…then serve….! This can also be left to cool and then cut into small squares to serve as an antipasto.
E ora si mangia, Vincenzo’s Plate…Enjoy!
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