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Scalini’s Eggplant Parmigiana (the pregnant woman’s friend!)

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Eggplant Parmigiana

Nearly 300 baby pictures decorate Scalini’s old-fashioned Italian restaurant in Cobb County, Georgia.

All of the babies pictured on the Italian restaurant wall were born after their mothers ate the Scalini’s eggplant parmigiana. The $9.95 plate of breaded eggplant smothered in cheese and thick marinara sauce is “guaranteed” to induce labor, the restaurant claims.

The eggplant legend began not long after the restaurant opened in 1980.

“Two or three years after we began, a few people had just mentioned to us they came in when they were pregnant, and ate this eggplant and had a baby a short time after that,” said John Bogino, who runs the restaurant with his son, Bobby Bogino. “One person told another, and it just grew by itself by leaps and bounds.”

More than 300 of the pregnant women customers who ordered the eggplant have given birth within 48 hours, and the restaurant dubs them the “eggplant babies.” If it doesn’t work in two days, the moms-to-be get a gift certificate for another meal.

We make no promises, but the restaurant has graciously shared the recipe.

Ingredients

  • 3 medium sized eggplants
  • 1 cup flour
  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 4 cups fine Italian bread crumbs, seasoned
  • Olive oil for sauteing
  • 8 cups of marinara sauce (recipe below)
  • 1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 pounds of mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 2 cups of ricotta cheese

Directions

1. After you wash the eggplant, slice them into 1/4-inch thick slices. You may choose to peel the eggplant before you slice it. However, you may want to leave the skin on since it contains a lot of vitamins.

2. Place the eggplant slices on a layer of paper towels and sprinkle with a little salt, then cover with another layer of paper towels and hold it down with something heavy to drain the excess moisture. Let them sit for about an hour.

3. Working with one slice of eggplant at a time, dust with flour, dip in beaten eggs, then coat well with breadcrumbs.

4. Sauté in preheated olive oil on both sides until golden brown.

5. In baking dish, alternate layers of marinara sauce, eggplant slices, ricotta, parmesan and Romano cheeses, until you fill the baking dish, about 1/8 inch from the top. Cover with shredded mozzarella cheese, and bake for 25 minutes in a 375 degree oven. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Scalini’s Marinara Sauce

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons of chopped garlic
  • 3 Tablespoons of olive oil
  • 8 cups chopped tomatoes (fresh or canned)
  • 1 cup onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of fresh chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper
  • 1/8 cup of fresh chopped sweet basil
  • Pinch of thyme
  • Pinch of rosemary
  • One teaspoon salt
  • One teaspoon black pepper

Directions

1. Lightly saute the onions in olive oil in large pot for a few minutes.

2. Add garlic and saute another minute.

3. Add tomatoes and bring sauce to a boil, then turn heat low.

4. Add remaining ingredients, stir, cover and let simmer for one hour, stirring occasionally.

Recipe courtesy of John Bogino, Scalini’s Italian Restaurant, Smyrna, Ga.

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