Recipe courtesy of Vita Greco
Show: Cooking Live
Episode: Got Sauce?
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Total:
40 min
Prep:
10 min
Cook:
30 min
Yield:
4 servings
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients

For the meat:
For the meatballs:
For the gravy:

Directions

Prepare the eggplant: Beat together the eggs, cheese, parsley, pepper, and garlic powder. Some people put the peeled, sliced eggplant in a colander with a heavy object on top, so it can drain somewhat. It's been known to be less tart, then. I don't do this any longer, because I found little or no difference in tartness. 

Dip the sliced eggplant pieces into the egg mixture and then into the bread crumbs, so that they're nicely coated. Fry each piece in olive oil until very brown on both sides. This is important. If the eggplants are not thinly cut or if they're not browned enough, the taste of the entire dish is not right. Both hands have to be working to get a good system going for this, and I use a medium to high flame. At certain intervals, I stop and dump the oil, wash the pan, and begin with a clean pan. This makes a big difference. 

As the eggplant pieces are done, you can drain them on a paper towel and then place them in a baking pan. When you have enough for one layer, coat the layer generously with tomato sauce. (Reserve meats to eat seperately.) On top of that, sprinkle grated mozzarella generously. Keep repeating layers. Make sure the sides of your pan get some sauce, too. Now, I freeze this before baking. When I defrost it, I bake it as usual, and it's great. But if you want to eat it now, bake it in a preheated 350 degree F until the cheese melts and the sauce is bubbly

For the gravy:

Prepare the meats: In a large skillet, brown all the meats in the olive oil. There is no need to cook the meats all the way through. Remember to pierce the sausage before cooking to allow fats and water to be released. Set meats aside.

Prepare meatballs: Combine all ingredients except the olive oil in a large bowl. Form the meatballs with your hands (there should be about 12). Fry in the olive oil over medium heat until browned, but not cooked all the way through. Set aside.

For the gravy: Saute garlic in the olive oil in the same skillet used to saute the meats. Add tomato paste and cook for a few minutes. In a large saucepot, combine the remaining ingredients except the meats and the tomato paste-garlic mixture and simmer. When the mixture begins to bubble, add all the meats and the meatballs. Stir about every 15 minutes, being sure to scrape the bottom of the pot to prevent burning and sticking. If the gravy seems too thick, add a little water at a time. Simmer for about 3 hours, keeping the lid of the pot slightly askew to prevent condensation of the gravy. 

Cook's Note

Amounts of all ingredients would depend on how many pieces of eggplant you are preparing.

A viewer or guest of the show, who may not be a professional cook, provided this recipe. It has not been tested for home use.

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