Eggplant Parmigiana + Potato Gnocchi With Tomato Sauce

Eggplant parmigiana (parmigiana di melanzane):
2 large (1kg) eggplants coarse cooking salt
1/2 cu (125ml) olive oil
2 tablespoons olive oil, extra
1 medium (150g) onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 * 425g cans tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup shredded fresh basil
400gmozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
1/3 cup (25g) grated Parmesan cheese


1. Cut eggplants into 1 cm slices, place on wire racks over oven trays, sprinkle with salt; stand 30 minutes. Rinse under cold water, drain on absorbent paper.

2. Place eggplant slices in single layer on lightly greased oven trays. Brush with oil. grill on both sides until lightly browned; drain on absorbent paper.

3. Heat extra oil in pan, add onion and garlic, cook, stirning, until onion is soft. Add undrained crushed tomatoes. paste and sugar, simmer, uncovered, about 10 minutes or until mixture is thickened slightly Stir in basil.

4. Grease shallow ovenproof dish (2 litre / 8 cup capacity). Pour half the tomato mixture into dish, top with half the eggplant slices, then half the mozzarella slices; sprinkle with parmesan. Repeat with remaining tomato mixture, eggplant slices, mozzarella slices and parmesan. Bake, uncovered, in moderately hot oven about 40 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Serves 6.

* Recipe can be made a day ahead.
* Storage: Covered, in refrigerator.
* Freeze: Suitable.
* Microwave: Not suitable.

POTATO GNOCCHI WITH TOMATO SAUCE (Gnocchi di Patata alla Salsa di Pomodororo)

5 medium (1kg) old potatoes, peeled, chopped
1 egg yolk
1/3 cup (25g) grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup (75g) plain flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
12 medium (900g) egg tomatoes, pleed, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

1. Boil, steam or microwave potatoes until just tender, drain well, cool 10 minutes; mash. Combine mashed potatoes, egg yolk and cheese. Gradually add flour, mix well.

2. Divide dough into 4 portions. Roll each portion on lightly floured surface to from a sausage 2cm in diameter. Cut diagonally into 2. 5cm slices.

3. Just before serving, add gnocchi to large pan of boiling water, boil, uncovered, about 2 minutes or until gnocchi float to the surface; drain well. Serve gnocchi with tomato sauce.

Tomato Sauce: Heat oil in pan, add garlic, cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add tomatoes, simmer, uncovered, about 10 minutes or until thickened. Stir in herbs.

Serves 4.

+ Gnocchi can be prepared several hours ahead. Tomato sauce can be made a day ahead.
+ Storage: Gnocchi in a single layer on tray covered with baking paper, dusted with plain flour. Tomato sauce, covered, in refrigerator.
+ Freeze: Sauce suitable.

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