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Eggplant parmigiana, mountains of Abruzzo

Posted in Caro Diario.(dear diary..), and recipes

After many 10 hours day in the office here working on the next special edition book (that should be ready for release in September)- a little R & R is needed. Today after a full morning in the office, and then a lunch of a tasty eggplant parmigiana  (that I whipped up last night-see recipe below) we headed to a peaceful spot at  the top of the mountains.
A special spot where you can get away and view the valley below-so scenic it is as if you are in a live painting- good for the body as well as the mind and the soul- you have to hike and climb the rocks to get to this special spot.
These are the mountains of Abruzzo as inspiring to write about as to see. When oy ureach the top of the mountain you will arrive at a peaceful spot with a little church- Madonna de Pietraquaria.
Outside is a fountain with fresh spring water crisp and cold- that comes from the top of the mountain But my favorite part of this spot is a large sign outside the church. It is a saying that helps in my daily life-sort of a mantra when any type of conflict arises:
“La pace nasce nel silenzio”
Roughly translated to mean: “Peace is born in silence”.
What a perfect way to revitalize your body, mind and spirit-after  a taxing day at the office in front of the computer and in meetings-first a luscious lunch of eggplant parmigiano made with San Marzano tomatoes and Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese, freshly picked basil. Then a hike to a peaceful quiet spot, the perfect spot to give your mind a rest.
Back to the computer again, but refreshed with many new ideas and thoughts..
Eggplant Parmigiana
*2 fresh eggplants (cut in slices, grilled)
*1 lb of fresh tomatoes (fileted into slices, seeds
*2 cloves of garlic
*handful of freshly wasahed basil
*3 tablespoons of olive oil
*1 ball of fresh mozzarella
*3 tablespoons of Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese freshly grated
*1 slice of onion
First wash and slice the eggplant (about 1/8″ slices). Soak slices in an equal solution of water and vinegar for about 10 minutes (this will et out any bitterness of eggplant). pat slices dry, grill each slice.
Wash tomatoes and cut into filets slices, removing seeds. In saucepan, place 2 tblsps of olive oil, and 2 cloves of garlic whole and 1 slice of fresh onion. Heat until onion starts to turn golden. Place in tomatoes and simmer down till almost all liquid is absorbed, stirring consistently and careful not to burn.
In glass cassserole dish, drizzle about 1 tsp of olive oil to coat bottom, place 1 layer of eggplant,a few sppons of tomato sauce, a few slices of fresh mozzarella,  a leaf of basil torn in pieces, 1 tsp of parmigiano cheese, repeat until all ingredients have been used. Top eggplant with sauce and parmigiano cheese only. At end of cooking place on broil for about 2 minutes or until cheese starts to bubble and brown. Bake in oven preheated to 425 for approx 30 minutes.
Serve with a red Montepulciano D’Abruzzo or Red Chianti
For more recipes and info on The Basic Art of Italian Cooking go to
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