Parmigiana di melanzane with pork chops - Simona Meccanelli
1 hour + 30 minutes in the oven
Ingredients (for 4 people):
- 1kg aubergine
- 1 kg peeled tomatoes
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 500 g mozzarella
- 150g grated parmesan
- Oil, for frying
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- Basil or parsley
- 4 pork chops
- 2 eggs
- 80 g flour
- 50 g breadcrumbs
- 1 lemon
1.Wash, dry and peel the aubergines. Cut them lengthwise into 2-3 mm thick slices and place them in a container. Sprinkle them layer by layer with a little coarse salt to remove the bitter taste. Cover them with a plate and put a weight on top. Set aside for at least 30 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, prepare the sauce. Pour a splash of olive oil in a saucepan. Add the peeled and coarsely chopped tomatoes and simmer for about half an hour on low heat with the lid on. Strain the sauce through a food mill and season with salt, pepper and oregano.
3. Rinse the aubergines to remove the salt and dry thoroughly with kitchen paper. Fry the aubergines in plenty of oil in a large frying pan to cook them faster, flipping them over after about 1½ minutes. Drain on both sides on kitchen paper and pat dry.
4. Take a baking tray and ladle a thin layer of sauce on the bottom. Top with a layer of fried aubergines and sprinkle again with sauce, grated Parmesan cheese and some diced mozzarella. Repeat this procedure until all ingredients are used up. Finish with mozzarella and parmesan. Transfer the baking tray to a preheated oven at 200°C for 30 minutes. Brown the surface well by turning the oven to grill setting during the last 5 minutes,.
5. Prepare the pork chops while the aubergine dish is in the oven. Fill one deep plate with flour, another with beaten egg whites and a third with breadcrumbs and parmesan. Roll each pork slice first in the flour, then in the beaten egg and then in the breadcrumb mixture. Fry the chops in plenty of olive oil until golden brown on both sides.
6. Serve the pork chops with a slice of lemon and the melanzane parmigiana.
The region of Puglia, in southern Italy, is renowned – among other things – for its aubergines, a delicious Mediterranean vegetable that our colleague Simona loves to use as an ingredient in her cooking. She was introduced to this dish by her Mama and now prepares it for her children. It is her way to commemorate her native region. Simona is just as drawn to vegetables now that she is living in Belgium, and you will find her at Lavameat working at the department where delicious vegetarian products are created.