ZUCCHINI PARMIGIANA
Parmigiana di Zucchine


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ZUCCHINI PARMIGIANA
Parmigiana di Zucchine
cookbook: Lidia's Commonsense Italian Cooking
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serves: 6

Zucchini is such a convenient and delicious vegetable. It is inexpensive, and you can find it -year--round, although it is best in the summer. In this delicious and simple recipe, the zucchini is baked into a parmigiana but does not have the traditional frying step. I like using a large baking pan and making just one layer; this way, the zucchini will dry up more in the oven, and you will have more of the crispy cheese top, which everybody loves.
 

Ingredients

2 pounds medium zucchini
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 ounces sliced -whole--wheat bread
4 cups Marinara Sauce (page 80)
2 cups shredded -low--moisture mozzarella
1 cup Grana Padano or -Parmigiano--Reggiano
¼ cup chopped fresh basil

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the whole zucchini, and bring back to a boil. Simmer until the zucchini are almost tender throughout, about 15 minutes. Drain, cool, and slice lengthwise into -½--inch--thick slices. Season with the salt.

Grease a -9--by--13--inch baking dish with the butter, and fit the bread in one layer into the bottom, trimming to fit if

necessary.

Layer as follows: Spread the bread with 2 cups of the marinara sauce. Arrange half of the zucchini in an even layer. Sprinkle with half of the mozzarella and Grana Padano. Sprinkle with all of the basil. Arrange the remaining zucchini in an even layer. Spread with the remaining marinara, and top with the remaining mozzarella and Grana Padano. Bake, uncovered, until browned and bubbly, about 35 to 40 minutes.

Lidia's Commonsense Italian Cooking

In her beautifully illustrated new cookbook, Lidia Bastianich lays out a comprehensive curriculum of wise cooking tips--from the cutting board to the kitchen table. Channeling the instructive elements from the companion Public Television series, Lidia’s Kitchen, she teaches us that a good dose of common sense is the key ingredient to a stellar meal. As storyteller and chef, Lidia draws on anecdotes to educate and illustrate. Recalling lessons learned from her mother, Erminia, and her grandmother, Nonna Rosa, Lidia pays homage to the kitchen sages who inspired her. Whether it's Citrus Roasted Veal or Rustic Ricotta Tart, each recipe is a tangible feast. We learn to look at ingredients as both geographic and cultural indicators; in Campania, the region where mozzarella is king, we discover it is best eaten three hours after preparation. In Genova we are taught that while focaccia had its basil origins in the Ligurian culinary tradition, the herbs and flavorings will change from region to region--home chefs can experiment with rosemary, oregano, olives, or onions! When it's time for dessert, Lidia draws on the sacred customs of nuns in Italian monasteries and convents and reveals the secret to Rice Pudding with a Blessing. Lidia's Commonsense Italian Cooking is a collection of 150 delectable recipes told with common sense cooking wisdom that teaches us how create simple, seasonal, Italian dishes with grace, confidence, and love.

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