Lasagnette alla Parmigiana
This recipe is from my friend, Ilaria Bercini, who said she makes it "just like my mother and grandmother used to do!".
200 grams or 7 oz. all-purpose flour
2 large eggs, beaten
For the filling:
Extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 shallot, diced
1 large eggplant
14 oz Mutti Finely Chopped/Crushed Tomatoes or Polpa
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 jar (100ml) pesto of pistachio
300 grams or 10 oz. buffalo mozzarella, sliced
16 basil leaves
¾ cup finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano
Mound the flour on a clean work surface. With your hands, make a well, 7- to 8-inch-diameter, in the center of the flour. Crack the eggs into the well. With a fork, lightly beat the eggs, gradually pulling flour from the inner rim of the well into the egg, until a soft, clumpy dough begins to form. When the dough becomes difficult to work with the fork, use your hands to pull in the remaining flour from the well, kneading gently until the dough is in a ball.
Remove the dough from the board and scrape up and discard any leftover bits. Lightly flour the board and continue kneading for 6 more minutes. The dough should be elastic and a little sticky.
Wrap the dough in plastic and allow to rest for 30 minutes at room temperature.
Roll the dough Lay a clean tablecloth or several kitchen towels on a counter. Cut the dough into 3 pieces and cover with a towel. With your hands, flatten and shape one piece of dough into a 1/2-inch-thick rectangle. Dust it lightly with flour and roll it or pass it through the widest setting on the pasta machine. If the dough comes out oddly shaped, reform into a rectangle. Fold it in thirds, and flatten to 1/2 inch thick. Roll it out again or pass it through the widest setting again. Repeat this folding and rolling step 10 to 12 times, dusting the dough with flour if it becomes sticky. Change the setting of the rollers skipping a number each time until the pasta is about 1/16 inch thick and 3 inches wide. For example, 1, 3, 5, until the dough is about 1/16 inch thick.
Lay the rolled-out dough on the tablecloth. Roll out the remaining dough in the same manner. Cut each strip of dough into 11-inch lengths.
Cook the Pasta: Bring a 10-quart pot of water to a boil over high heat and add 1 tablespoon salt. Put a large bowl of ice water near the pot of boiling water. Line a rimmed baking sheet with two clean kitchen towels or sheets of parchment and have more towels or parchment ready. Once the water returns to a boil, cook for about 30 seconds. Drain the pasta and place in the ice water. Spread it out in a single layer on the towels.
For the Sauce:
Preheat an oven to 400F.
In the meantime, cut the eggplant in half lengthwise and score with a sharp knife in a diagonal pattern. Place the eggplant on a parchment-lined baking sheet and place the eggplant cut side down on the parchment. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until it is soft to the touch. With a spoon, scoop out the meat of the eggplant leaving only the skin. Discard the skin.
Warm the 2 tablespoons olive oil in a frying pan over medium high heat. Add the garlic and cook until golden. Remove and discard. Add the shallots and cook for 2 minutes. Add the eggplant, polpa tomatoes to the pan and cook for 8 to 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add the pistachio pesto.
In an oiled lasagna pan, add a layer of pasta, a layer of filling, the mozzarella, and basil leaves; continue until the pan is filled. Cover the final layer with pieces of mozzarella, basil leaves, and grated Parmigiano Reggiano. Drizzle with olive oil.
Bake in a 400F° oven until bubbling around the edges, about 30 to 40 minutes.