Rainy Sunday Supper
It was determination and hunger that brought it together so quickly. Eggplant parmigiana. Our recipe.
So simple, this recipe. Roberto performs his part, I perform mine. We meet at the counter, ready to layer. Anticipation is great.
Roberto prepped the eggplant, a nice wash and thinly sliced (two rather large out-of-season eggplant—I could not help myself). I grated mozzarella, opened up two cans of San Marzano, and prepped the breadcrumbs (store bought for ease)/egg wash (salt, pepper, whole milk).
While I bread the eggplant, Roberto prepped the ricotta (a mix of ricotta, parsley, egg, salt and pepper) for layering, milled the tomatoes and chopped the garlic/shallot for the sauce (our tried and true red—made weekly).
While I prepped the sheet pans with olive oil (a thin brush of light—best for frying and occasionally dressing salad when one wants less personal commentary on their mixed greens) and layered the eggplant for baking, Roberto made the sauce.
While I waited for 15 minutes (ho-hum), flipped the eggplant (!ouch, that tray is hot!), and waited 15 minutes more (come on already!), Roberto grated the parmesan.
On the counter, baked eggplant piled high, red sauce, grated mozzarella, grated parmesan, ricotta and ready to receive layer after layer, a beautiful blue scalloped dish (made in Portugal).
A thin layer of sauce coated the bottom of the dish. A layer of eggplant followed, filling in the gaps with smaller pieces (hand torn). Another thin layer of sauce. A sprinkling of mozzarella. Dabs and dollops of ricotta. A sprinkling of parmesan. A layer of eggplant. Another thin layer of sauce...etc, etc, etc.
Four layers later, the dish was covered with foil and retreated to the oven for one hour. I nearly died from anticipation and near starvation (we had not eaten lunch—I get ornery when I'm hungry). My stomach grumbled. I tapped my fingers nervously and paced about. Peering periodically into the oven at the covered dish unable to ascertain the progress (aaarrrggghhh).
When we sat down to the table, we both devoured super sized pieces with fierce happiness and pleasure. It was so good that I couldn't think of a life without its leftovers...That's when Roberto said we should take the other half over to his parents house. My dreams of Monday night dinner of leftover eggplant parmigiana had been shattered, but then a happy warm feeling took over.
"It's nice to share." I said.
Roberto delivered the rest of the eggplant parmigiana to his parents where his mother greeted him and the warm parcel with happy anticipation. It is nice to share.