Eggplant Parmigiana would have to be one of my favourite vegetarian meals.  It is an absolute beauty if you want to prepare it ahead of time and it is dead easy to make.   I don’t often use shortcuts and am very selective about what I use but in this instance I used a store bought Italian tomato sauce ( a good one).  Served with a crisp green salad, crusty bread and a good bottle of red,  you will love this one!

Prep time:   20 minutes           Cooking time:  45 minutes           $  Low Budget

Serves 2   (To feed multitudes, double the recipe as much as you like and serve it in a large lasagne dish)

1 large eggplant, cut into 1cm thick slices

olive oil for frying

1x 400gm jar of store bought Italian pasta sauce (plain or with basil and preferably of italian origin)

1/2 cup of ricotta

1/2 a cup of cream

1/2 a cup of milk

1 egg

2/3 of a cup of grated parmesan cheese

a pinch of nutmeg

1 buffalo mozzarella (normal bocconcini will do)

Salt and pepper

To make the Eggplant Parmigiana, heat a large heavy based pan to a fairly high heat and add enough olive oil to cover the base of the pan.  Cook the eggplant in batches on both sides until golden.  Eggplant loves oil so don’t be alarmed when it is all gone after you have only fried one side.  When you flip it the oil in the eggplant will drain out.  Drain the eggplant on paper towel when done.

Mix the milk, cream, ricotta, 1/2 a cup of the grated parmesan, the nutmeg and the egg in a bowl.  Season with salt and pepped.

In two 16cm  oven proof ramekins or a small lasagne dish, spoon enough of the tomato sauce to cover the base.  Add a layer of eggplant and top with half of the ricotta mixture.  Top that with more tomato sauce and repeat with the remaining eggplant and ricotta mix.  Sprinkle the remaining parmesan on the top and tear chunks of the buffalo mozzarella to spread on top.  Bake in a preheated 180 degree oven for 25 minutes or until golden, molten and bubbly.  Serve the Eggplant Parmigiana with a green salad, crusty bread and a good bottle of Red.

Leftover Ricotta?  You may like to cook this….