Tuscany can be found down the western coast of central Italy. Sangiovese is the main grape in the area, its name derives from sanguis Jovis, “the blood of Jove” . It ripens late in the season and needs a warm climate, which is why it works so well in Italy. Chianti is a wine that is crafted from (typically) 100% Sangiovese grapes. Look for the sign of the “gallo nero” (Italian for “black rooster”) on the bottleneck label, which certifies that the grapes are grown in Chianti Classico a region that is known for more premium wines.
Medium weight, savory, red plums, tart cherries, dried herbs and subtle tomato flavours of the Sangiovese grape are a wonderful pairing with eggplant parmigiana.
- 3 – 4 Medium sized eggplant, 1/4 inch slices
- Sea Salt
- Fresh Basil
- 2C Dry Breadcrumbs
- 2 Lg Eggs
- Vegetable Oil
- 4C Tomato Sauce
- 1-1/2C grated Parmigiano Reggiano
- 3C Shredded Mozzarella
Lay the eggplant on paper towel and sprinkle them on both sides with sea salt. Leave for 20 minutes to drain. Pat Dry.
Scatter breadcrumbs in a shallow dish. In a bowl beat eggs with a bit of salt until they are foamy. Dip slices of eggplant in the egg wash, then dip in breadcrumbs. Pat the crumbs firmly in place.
Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Fry eggplant slices a few at a time until they are golden brown on both sides. When all have been cooked, cover with paper towel to absorb any remaining oil. Let rest for 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400F. In a rectangular baking dish, ladle out enough tomato sauce to cover the bottom of the pan. Add a layer of eggplant and sprinkle with 1/2C of the Parmigiana Reggiano and 1C of the mozzarella. Add a second layer of eggplant, cover with tomato sauce, add two cheeses. Continue with additional layers. Finish off with remaining tomato sauce.
Cover with foil and bake for about one hour. Let sit for 20 minutes before serving. Sprinkle a bit of Parmigiana Reggiano on the top and add a sprig of fresh basil.
Trina Plamondon is the Founder of Carpa Vino, a local company in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, that offers private wine events & charity events, wine education & consultation. Join the exclusive tasting club for those who like to explore the world of wine. www.carpavino.com