RECIPE TITLE "EGGPLANT PARMIGIANA -- Melanzana alla Parmigiana" recipe from Lidia's Italian-American Kitchen Copyright © 2001 by A La Carte Communications and Tuttia Tavola, L.L.C.
... more great recipes by Lidia Matticchio Bastianich on our GREAT CHEFS page!
serves 6 ---
When I bread and fry things like these slices of eggplant, I make a little assembly line that leads from the flour, to the eggs, on to the breadcrumbs, and right into the pan of hot oil. Placing three rectangular cake pans side by side next to the stove works nicely...there is very little clean-up afterward...but any container wide enough to hold several slices of eggplant at a time will work just as well.
This dish can be made with roasted eggplant slices instead of breaded and fried eggplant. Although it will be good, it will not be as tasty, nor will it have the texture of the fried eggplant. The roasted version is very simple: Drain and rinse the eggplant as described above, but instead of coating the eggplant slices, toss them with a few tablespoons of olive oil. Brush a baking sheet with olive oil, and set the eggplant slices side by side on the baking sheet. Bake them in a 450° F preheated oven for 20 minutes, till they are golden brown. Let them cool, and proceed to layer and bake the ingredients as below.
3 medium eggplants, or 5 or 6 smaller eggplants (about 2-1/2 to 3 pounds total)
1 tablespoon coarse sea or kosher salt
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon salt
All-purpose flour for dredging
2 cups fine dry breadcrumbs
1/2 cup vegetable oil, or as needed
1/2 cup olive oil, or as needed
2 cups grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
12 fresh basil leaves
1 pound fresh mozzarella cheese or Italian Fontina cheese, cut into slices 1/2 inch thick
Trim the stems and ends from the eggplants. Remove strips of peel about 1 inch wide from the eggplants, leaving about half the peel intact. Cut the eggplant lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick slices and place them in a colander. Sprinkle with the coarse salt and let drain for 1 hour. Rinse the eggplant under cool running water, drain thoroughly, and pat dry.
Whisk the eggs and 1 teaspoon salt together in a 13 x 9-inch baking pan or wide, shallow bowl. Spread the flour and bread crumbs in an even layer in two separate wide, shallow bowls or over sheets of wax paper. Dredge the egg plant slices in flour, shaking off the excess. Dip the floured eggplant into the egg mixture, turning well to coat both sides evenly. Let excess egg drip back into the pan, then lay the eggplant in the pan of bread crumbs. Turn to coat both sides well with bread crumbs, pressing with your hands until the bread crumbs adhere well to the eggplant.
Pour 1/2 cup each of the olive and vegetable oils into a medium skillet. Heat over medium-high heat until a corner of one of the eggplant slices gives off a lively sizzle when dipped into the oil. Add as many of the eggplant slices as fit without touching and cook, turning once, until well browned on both sides, about 6 minutes. Remove the eggplant to a baking pan lined with paper towels and repeat with the remaining eggplant slices. Adjust the heat as the eggplant cooks to prevent the bits of coating that fall off the eggplant slices from burning. Add oil to the pan as necessary during cooking to keep the level more or less the same.
Preheat the oven to 375° F. Heat the tomato sauce to simmering, if necessary, in a small saucepan over medium heat. Ladle enough sauce into an 8 x 13-inch baking dish to cover the bottom. Sprinkle with an even layer of grated cheese and top with a layer of fried eggplant, pressing it down gently. Tear a few leaves of basil over the eggplant and ladle about 3/4 cup of the sauce to coat the top evenly. Sprinkle an even layer of grated cheese over the sauce and top with a layer of mozzarella or fontina, using about one-third of the cheese. Repeat the layering as described about two more times, ending with a top layer of sliced cheese that leaves a border of about 1 inch around the edges of the baking dish. Drizzle sauce around the border of the baking dish and sprinkle the top layer with the remaining grated cheese. Finish with a few decorative streaks or rounds of tomato sauce. Cover the baking dish loosely with aluminum foil and poke several holes in the foil with the tip of a knife. Bake 30 minutes.
Uncover, and continue baking until the top layer of cheese is golden in spots, about 15 minutes. Let rest 10 to 20 minutes, then cut into squares and serve.
|Lidia's Italy: 140 Simple and Delicious Recipes from the Ten Places in Italy Lidia Loves Most
In this exciting new book the incomparable Lidia takes us on a gastronomic journey—from Piemonte to Puglia—exploring ten different regions that have informed her cooking and helped to make her the fabulous cook that she is today. In addition, her daughter Tanya, an art historian, guides us to some of the nearby cultural treasures that enrich the pursuit of good food.
· In Istria, now part of Croatia, where Lidia grew up, she forages again for wild asparagus, using it in a delicious soup and a frittata; Sauerkraut with Pork and Roast Goose with Mlinzi reflect the region’s Middle European influences; and buzara, an old mariner’s stew, draws on fish from the nearby sea.
· From Trieste, Lidia gives seafood from the Adriatic, Viennese-style breaded veal cutlets and Beef Goulash, and Sacher Torte and Apple Strudel.
· From Friuli, where cows graze on the rich tableland, comes Montasio cheese to make fricos; the corn fields yield polenta for Velvety Cornmeal-Spinach Soup.
· In Padova and Treviso rice reigns supreme, and Lidia discovers hearty soups and risottos that highlight local flavors.
· In Piemonte, the robust Barolo wine distinguishes a fork-tender stufato of beef; local white truffles with scrambled eggs is “heaven on a plate”; and a bagna cauda serves as a dip for local vegetables, including prized cardoons.
· In Maremma, where hunting and foraging are a way of life, earthy foods are mainstays, such as slow-cooked rabbit sauce for pasta or gnocchi and boar tenderloin with prune-apple Sauce, with Galloping Figs for dessert.
· In Rome Lidia revels in the fresh artichokes and fennel she finds in the Campo dei Fiori and brings back nine different ways of preparing them.
· In Naples she gathers unusual seafood recipes and a special way of making limoncello-soaked cakes.
· From Sicily’s Palermo she brings back panelle, the delicious fried chickpea snack; a caponata of stewed summer vegetables; and the elegant Cannoli Napoleon.
· In Puglia, at Italy’s heel, where durum wheat grows at its best, she makes some of the region’s glorious pasta dishes and re-creates a splendid focaccia from Altamura.
There are 140 delectable recipes to be found as you make this journey with Lidia. And along the way, with Tanya to guide you, you’ll stop to admire Raphael’s fresco Triumph of Galatea, a short walk from the market in Rome; the two enchanting women in the Palazzo Abbatellis in Palermo; and the Roman ruins in Friuli, among many other delights. There’s something for everyone in this rich and satisfying book that will open up new horizons even to the most seasoned lover of Italy. More info
|Lidia's Italian-American Kitchen
Lidia Bastianich, loved by millions of Americans for her good Italian cooking, gives us her most instructive and personal cookbook yet.
Focusing on the Italian-American kitchen—the cooking she encountered when she first came to America as a young adolescent—she pays homage to this “cuisine of adaptation born of necessity.” But she transforms it subtly with her light, discriminating touch, using the authentic ingredients, not accessible to the early immigrants, which are all so readily available today. The aromatic flavors of fine Italian olive oil, imported Parmigiano-Reggiano and Gorgonzola dolce latte, fresh basil, oregano, and rosemary, sun-sweetened San Marzano tomatoes, prosciutto, and pancetta permeate the dishes she makes in her Italian-American kitchen today. And they will transform for you this time-honored cuisine, as you cook with Lidia, learning from her the many secret, sensuous touches that make her food superlative.
You’ll find recipes for Scampi alla Buonavia (the garlicky shrimp that became so popular when Lidia served the dish at her first restaurant, Buonavia), Clams Casino (with roasted peppers and good American bacon), Caesar Salad (shaved Parmigiano makes the difference), baked cannelloni (with roasted pork and mortadella), and lasagna (blanketed in her special Italian-American Meat Sauce).
But just as Lidia introduced new Italian regional dishes to her appreciative clientele in Queens in the seventies, so she dazzles us now with pasta dishes such as Bucatini with Chanterelles, Spring Peas, and Prosciutto, and Long Fusilli with Mussels, Saffron, and Zucchini. And she is a master at teaching us how to make our own ravioli, featherlight gnocchi, and genuine Neapolitan pizza.
The key to her delectable fish and meat cooking is the aromatic vegetables that so often form an integral part of the dish—sole with oregano, vidalias, and tomatoes; tenderloin with potatoes, peppers, and onions; sausages with bitter broccoli. Try her version of scallopine with sautéed lemon slices, garlic slivers, capers, and green olives—you’ll be hooked.
Soups are Lidia’s specialty, particularly hearty bean and pasta soups—meals in themselves. And you can top off a Lidia feast with traditional Italian-American favorites, such as a perfect Zabaglione or cannoli, or one of her own creations—Lemon Delight or Roasted Pears and Grapes.
Laced with stories about her experiences in America and her discoveries as a cook, this enchanting book is both a pleasure to read and a joy to cook from. More info
|Lidia's Family Table: More Than 200 Fabulous Recipes to Enjoy Every Day-With Wonderful Ideas for Variations and Improvisations
The best-loved and most-admired of all America’s television cooks today, Lidia Bastianich, now gives us her most generous, instructive, and creative cookbook. The emphasis here is on cooking for the family, and her book is filled with unusually delicious basic recipes for everyday eating Italian-style, as well as imaginative ideas for variations and improvisations.
Here are more than 200 fabulous new dishes that will appeal both to Lidia’s loyal following, who have come to rely on her wonderfully detailed recipes, and to the more adventurous cook ready to experiment.
• She welcomes us to the table with tasty bites from the sea (including home-cured tuna and mackerel), seasonal salads, and vegetable surprises (Egg-Battered Zucchini Roll-Ups, Sweet Onion Gratinate).
• She reveals the secret of simple make-ahead soup bases, delicious on their own and easy to embellish for a scrumptious soup that can make a meal.
• She opens up the wonderful world of pasta, playing with different shapes, mixing and matching, and creating sauces while the pasta boils; she teaches us to make fresh egg pastas, experimenting with healthful ingredients–whole wheat, chestnut, buckwheat, and barley. And she makes us understand the subtle arts of polenta- and risotto-making as never before.
• She shares her love of vegetables, skillet-cooking some to intensify their flavor, layering some with yesterday’s bread for a lasagna-like gratin, blanketing a scallop of meat with sautéed vegetables, and finishing seasonal greens with the perfect little sauce.
• She introduces us to some lesser-known cuts of meats for main courses (shoulders, butts, and tongue) and underused, delicious fish (skate and monkfish), as well as to her family’s favorite recipes for chicken and a beautiful balsamic-glazed roast turkey.
• And she explores with us the many ways fruits and crusts (pie, strudel, cake, and toasted bread) marry and produce delectable homey desserts to end the meal.
Lidia’s warm presence is felt on every page of this book, explaining the whys and wherefores of what she is doing, and the brilliant photographs take us right into her home, showing her rolling out pasta with her grandchildren, bringing in the summer harvest, and sitting around the food-laden family table. As she makes every meal a celebration, she invites us to do the same, giving us confidence and joy in the act of cooking. More info
|Lidia's Italian Table: More Than 200 Recipes From The First Lady Of Italian Cooking
"Let me invite you on a journey with me from my childhood ..." beckons Lidia Bastianich, hostess of the national public television series Lidia's Italian Table. And what an incredible journey it proves to be.
Lidia's Italian Table is overflowing with glorious Italian food, highlighted by Lidia's personal collection of recipes accumulated since her childhood in Istria, located in northern Italy on the Adriatic Sea. Hearty and heartwarming Italian fare is what Lidia understands best, and each chapter of this gorgeous cookbook is infused with Lidia's warm memories of a lifetime of eating and cooking Italian style.
Since good Italian food is based on good ingredients, Lidia includes an eloquent discourse on those products that are the cornerstones of Italian cuisine: olives (and their green-golden oil), Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, salt, porcini mushrooms, truffles, tomato paste, and hot peppers. She also explains the importance of regional wines and grappa (in flavors from honey to dried fig) in the Italian food experience. Her recipes are filled with these Italian delicacies--Fennel, Olive, and Citrus Salad; Tagliatelle with Porcini Mushroom Sauce; Seared Rabbit Loin over Arugula with Truffle Dressing; Asparagus Gratin with Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese-, and Zabaglione with Barolo Wine.
Lidia explores every corner of Italian cuisine: from fresh and dry pasta to gnocchi and risotto to game and shellfish, all of which Lidia transforms into exceptional Italian dishes. But that is only the beginning. There are Italian soups to savor, like hearty minestre, bread-enriched zuppe, and the light and flavorful brodi. Polenta's delicious versatility is revealed through Polenta, Gorgonzola, and Savoy Cabbage Torte and White Creamy Polenta with Fresh Plums.
And Lidia's luscious dolci, or desserts, invite your indulgence with Sweet Crepes with Chocolate Walnut Filling, Blueberry-Apricot Frangipane Tart, and Soft Ice Cream with Hazelnuts.
Lidia attributes her passion and appreciation for Italian food to her family. Lidia's Italian Table is filled with stories of learning to make Easter bread with her Grandma Rosa in the town's communal oven; touching and smelling her way through the food markets of Trieste with her great-aunt Zia Nina; fishing for calamari with her uncle Zio Milio; and collecting briny mussels and sea urchins along the Istrian coastline with her cousins.
This gastronomic adventure is more than just a cookbook: It is an exploration into the heart of Italian cuisine. More info