Jenny is in perpetual search for easy, weeknight recipes to attempt to feed her family. When they balk, she just eats more.
Today: Classic Eggplant Parmesan gets a fancy new topping.
Usually I ferret out good weeknight recipes by my lonesome here, but My Mother's Eggplant Parmigiana came to me via my colleague Paul, who was raving about this interesting twist on a classic, one that is kid friendly to boot.
The secret surprise here of course is the walnuts, which have been coming up in a few Italian recipes of late, and snap of some red pepper flakes, a spice that would get me through life on a desert island, if I had the new Jhumpa Lahiri novel and the next season of Orange is the New Black as well.
You can even make this nutty topping before you leave work, and then put the whole thing together while asking people about play practice and the best method for avoiding the dress code police at school.
I, too, refuse to seed tomatoes.
Serves 4 to 6
For the sauce:
1 pound plum tomatoes (about 5)
1 tablespoon medium garlic clove, chopped
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup red wine
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup basil leaves
For the eggplant:
1 large, firm, shiny eggplant
1/4 cup olive oil + 1 teaspoon for walnut topping
2 tablespoons plain bread crumbs
2 tablespoons walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup grated pecorino (or parmigiano) cheese
3/4 cups mozzarella, shredded
Photo by James Ransom