Buca di Beppo Eggplant Parmigiana and Manicotti Recipe
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Buca di Beppo Eggplant Parmigiana and Manicotti

First make the Béchamel Sauce:

Make a roux with two tablespoons of butter and two tablespoons of flour in a small sauté pan. Melt the butter over medium heat and add the flour. Incorporate completely cooking for five minutes over medium heat.

Meanwhile, bring two cups of milk to a simmer in a sauce pan. When the milk has come to a simmer, add 1/2 teaspoon of salt, a dash of white pepper and a dash of ground nutmeg. Add the roux. Bring the sauce to a simmer and cook for ten minutes. Set aside.

Manicotti Filling:

Crack two eggs in a bowl. Whip lightly. Mix in 12 ounces of ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup each of mozzarella and provolone cheese; 1/4 cup of Romano cheese; 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 cup of chopped flat leafed Italian parsley.

Manicotti shells:

Purchase manicotti shells, preferably imported Italian, at the store. Prepare three shells according to package direction, subtracting two minutes of the recommended cooking time. Remove pasta from boiling water and place shells in ice water until completely cold.

Fill the Manicotti shells:

Use a pastry bag fill the pasta shells with the manicotti filling.

Cover the bottom of a small casserole dish with marinara sauce. Place the three stuffed manicotti on top of the marinara sauce. Using a tablespoon cover the manicotti with the Béchamel sauce. Sprinkle lightly with Romano cheese. Bake at 425 degrees F, uncovered, for 25 minutes, or until golden brown.

While the manicotti is baking, prepare your Eggplant parmigiana.

Cut the top end (the stem) off of the eggplant and slice the eggplant lengthwise so that the slices are approx. 1/4 inch thick. Do not use the your first or last slice. You will want to retain the skin edging of the remaining slices.

Next, make an egg wash with six eggs and 1/2 cup of milk, lightly whip until incorporated. Lightly flour the sliced eggplant, then dip the eggplant in the egg wash and cover completely with the bread crumb mixture.*

*Bread crumb mixture

Three parts seasoned bread crumbs and one part Romano cheese.

Fill a sauté pan with a 1/2 inch of olive oil; fry the eggplant on medium high heat. When the fried eggplant is golden brown, remove and place on a cooling rack. Note: Place paper towel underneath the cooling rack.

Place six slices of cooled, fried eggplant on a baking sheet. Top each slice with one ounce of marinara sauce a small handful of bruschetta mixture (diced Roma tomatoes, diced onion, chopped garlic, fresh basil, olive oil and seasoned to taste) and shredded provolone cheese. Bake in a 450 degree F oven or until the cheese melts.

When the eggplant is done remove from the oven. Using a spatula stack the slices into two stacks of three slices each.

Take a large 15 inch serving platter, cover the bottom of the dish with approximately one pint of hot marinara sauce. Using a spatula carefully remove the manicotti from the casserole dish and place on one half of the plate. On the other half of the plate arrange the two stacks of eggplant parmigiana. Garnish the manicotti with fresh chopped Italian parsley and serve.

Makes three manicotti shells and two stacks of eggplant parmigiana.

Source: Chef Vittoria Renda, Buca Di Beppo

    
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