This is one of my favorite Italian dishes. If you’ve made lasagna before, then it will be easy for you to follow this recipe. The only difference between the two is instead of lasagna pasta, it uses eggplants. A low-carb alternative with a lot of flavor.
I made this dish specifically so I have an alternative to baked pasta dishes. I’ve been trying to lose some of the pounds recently, and so I decided to reduce my carbs and up my vegetable intake by coming up with alternatives to my normal fare. Making an Eggplant Parmigiana dish seemed like a logical move.
You will find a lot of Eggplant Parmigiana dishes in the net, but this recipe is my take on it. You might be surprised as you read on that I will be using bacon which is counter-intuitive to my goal of losing weight. The truth is I just love that smoky flavor and I’m willing to cheat a bit, but you can always replace the bacon with lean ground beef or cook it in a separate pan so it’s easy to drain the fat produced by the bacon as it cooks.
- 250g lean ground beef
- 150g bacon
- 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
- 2 tsp dried basil
- 1 cup of button mushrooms, sliced
- 1 10.75oz. can of tomato purée
- 1/2 cup hot water
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2 large eggplants (aubergines)
- 1 lb mozzarella cheese
- salt & pepper to taste
Chop the bacon. With a little olive oil, cook the bacon until browned, but not crispy. Drain away the excess oil and set aside the bacon.
Saute the garlic and onion in olive oil until the onions become tender. Add the ground beef with the dried rosemary and cook until browned. Add the pre-cooked bacon and mushrooms and sautee for another minute. Pour in the tomato puree and hot water. Simmer covered for 5 minutes. Add the dried basil, brown sugar, grated parmesan cheese, salt and pepper, and cook for another couple of minutes. Set aside.
Slice the eggplants into 1/3 inch thick slices lengthwise. In a 9-inch rectangular baking dish, make a single layer of eggplant slices. Spread some of the tomato sauce on the eggplant layer. Repeat the process, creating alternating layers of eggplant and tomato sauce, making sure that the top layer is tomato sauce, otherwise, the top eggplant layer will dry as it cooks. Slice the mozzarella cheese into 1/3 inch thick slices and layer on top of the parmigiana.
Cook the dish in an oven pre-heated to 180°C for 15 minutes covered in foil. Remove the foil and cook for another 10 minutes until the cheese on top is completely melted and slightly browned. Serve immediately with some fresh basil.
Eggplant Parmigiana is an amazing comfort food. And it’s a nice way to get people to eat their vegetables. Hmm, maybe I should bake myself one tonight…