Vegetarian Lifestyle
Viva Italia!
By Doris Romeo
Apr 23, 2006 - 1:29:00 PM

Italian food is by far everybody's favorite. There are many wonderful vegetarian dishes, and here's the one I love the most.

Eggplant Parmesan

1 large firm eggplant (sliced about 1 inch)
1 cup flour
3 cups Italian flavored bread crumbs (available at all markets)
2 eggs
1 T. milk
2 cups vegetable oil
1/2 lb. shredded mozzarella cheese (or mozzarella flavor soy cheese)
1 cup parmesan cheese (or flavored soy cheese)
3 cups fresh tomato sauce (can be canned marinara)
salt and pepper to taste

Photo by Olga Litvin.

Put the sliced eggplant in a colander, cover with a small towel, put a can or something heavy on top, and drain for about one hour, which will make it absorb less oil when cooking.  In a deep-dish mix the eggs with the milk, add salt and pepper.  In two separate plates put the flour in one and the crumbs in the other. In the meantime heat the oil in a large skillet, dip each slice in the flour, then the egg-wash, and finally in the crumbs, fry immediately.  When nice and brown on both sides, put a little of the sauce in the bottom of an ovenproof dish, put one layer of eggplant, one layer of mozzarella, and a layer or parmesan, repeat the process until all the eggplant is used.  Cover with both cheeses and more sauce, cover and bake for 35 minutes at 375.

Fresh tomato sauce

1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
2 T. olive oil
2 T. chopped shallots
2 cloves chopped garlic
1 bunch fresh basil (leaves only)
1/2 cup red wine (optional)
1 T. tomato paste
salt and pepper

Het the oil, add the shallots and garlic, sauté for two minutes. Add all the other ingredients, except the tomato paste, cover and simmer for 45 minutes.  Add the tomato paste, blend well, simmer 5 more minutes.  Use for eggplant, or for any other pasta dish.

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