Stuffed Eggplant Parmesan
When making the balsamella sauce in Step three, the flour-and-butter mixture will seem very dry until you add the milk; then it will become creamy and smooth.
- 6 small eggplants, (about 8 to 10 ounces each)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups Tomato Sauce
- 1 1/2 tablespoons medium-chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups skim milk
- 1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Olive-oil cooking spray
Heat oven to 450 degrees. Bake eggplants until slightly softened, about 15 minutes. Transfer eggplants to a clean surface. Slice off 1/4 of each eggplant lengthwise, and reserve the pieces. Hollow out eggplants, leaving about 1/4 inch of flesh attached to the skin. Reserve the flesh. Cut removed pieces and flesh of the eggplants into 1/4-inch dice; set aside.
Spray a nonstick skillet with olive-oil spray, and place over medium heat. Stir in the diced eggplant, 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, and pepper. Cover, and cook the eggplant until tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in tomato sauce and parsley, and cook 3 to 4 minutes. Fill the reserved hollowed eggplants with eggplant filling brimming over the top slightly, and place in a baking pan large enough to comfortably hold the eggplants. Bake for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the balsamella sauce: Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk in flour until all the butter has been absorbed, and cook 2 minutes. Slowly pour in 1/4 cup milk, while briskly whisking. Briskly whisk in the remaining 1 1/4 cups milk, 1/4 cup at a time, until all the milk has been added and the sauce is smooth and creamy. Stir in the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and nutmeg. Cook until the sauce has thickened to the consistency of pancake batter, 4 to 5 minutes.
Spoon about 2 tablespoons balsamella sauce over the top of each filled eggplant, and sprinkle tops with Parmesan. Bake until tops are golden and eggplants are heated through, about 20 minutes.