Saturday, May 05, 2012

Eggplant Parmesan on Spinach Polenta with Homemade Tomato Sauce

Once again there are no pictures as the meal was so good it was devoured before I could get any...  There are a few steps to this recipe but it's worth the effort, fancy enough for company and deadly cheap!  I've made homemade tomato sauce before, check here but I'll share what I did today.  I wanted something light.  Mostly I was trying to use up the fresh basil I bought last week before it wilted.  Geez I love fresh basil!

Eggplant Parmesan on Spinach Polenta with Homemade Tomato Sauce.
Serves 6

Tomato Sauce
  • 1 tbsp/15 ml olive oil
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 2 dried red chilies, crushed
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 28 ounce/ 796 ml can of diced, no salt added tomatoes (check the italian brands, they usually don't have any salt added)
  • 3 tbsp/45 ml tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp/15 ml sugar
  • splash of red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp fresh chopped oregano
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • pinch of salt as needed
Eggplant Parmesan
  • 1 large eggplant, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups bread crumbs
  • 3/4 cup grated parmesan
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 3 cups chopped spinach
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • pinch of salt if needed
Tomato Sauce
  1. Heat the olive oil in a sauce pan over medium high heat.
  2. Saute the red chilies and onion until tender
  3. Add in the garlic, tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar and red wine vinegar
  4. Simmer for 20 minutes
  5. Toss in the fresh oregano and basil.  Salt as needed
Eggplant Parmesan
  1. Slice the eggplant and sprinkle with lots of salt.  Let sit on paper towels for 20 minutes, wipe and turn.  Let sit another 20 minutes.  Pat dry.  This is an important step - do not skip it!
  2. Heat the oven to 350F and place a baking sheet covered in aluminum foil and sprayed with cooking spray in the oven
  3. Heat a frying pan over medium high heat sprayed with cooking oil
  4. In one plate place the flour, in another plate beat the egg, in another plate toss the bread crumbs with the parmesan.  Dip each slice of eggplant in flour, then egg then bread crumbs.
  5. Brown each eggplant slice on each side in the frying pan and place in the oven on the baking sheet.
  6. Cook the eggplant for 10 minutes and then top with the mozza, bake until the mozza is melted
  1. Heat the water in a pot over high heat. 
  2. When it starts to simmer slowly add in the cornmeal while whisking quickly and continuously.
  3. Continue whisking until the polenta thickens.  About 5 minutes
  4. Whisk in the spinach and then the parmesan.  Toss in the butter and stir until blended.
  5. Taste and salt if needed.
Scoop 1/2 cup of polenta on each plate
Top with a slice or 2 of eggplant
Spoon tomato sauce on top.  Sprinkle with a little more parmesan if you wish.

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