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Video: Parm three ways: Meatball, chicken, eggplant

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    >>> this morning in "today's" kitchen, what's for dinner? three delicious ways to say cheese. heating up the dining scene here in new york with their restaurants, italian specialties. good morning, guys. setting the cooking world on fire , literally, in a good way. "new york times" is raving about you. how did you do it so quickly?

    >> we started really, really young.

    >> 10 years old will do, right?

    >> little baby chefs.

    >> we were young and we were at it.

    >> you're taking traditional italian, putting your spin on t we're using parm today. you want to start over here?

    >> yes.

    >> battle stations.

    >> mario, we're starting out with --

    >> this is kind of -- it's the base of all great soups, stews. it's kind of like -- it could be trinity. it's not an exact --

    >> okay.

    >> onions, garlic, chopped parsley.

    >> right. and that's our base.

    >> that's your base. you cook it real slow and gentle. add it to your meat mixture. your meat mixture is 50% beef, 25% ground veal , 25% pork sausage .

    >> why do you like that blend?

    >> it adds a certain italian-americanness to it.

    >> very nice.

    >> instead of dried bread crumbs use soaked fresh bread. instead of extracting moisture it adds moisture.

    >> add eggs.

    >> which is great, too. add the eggs, cheese.

    >> why do you love parm so much? i love it.

    >> the restaurant.

    >> add that.

    >> and form it into pattis instead of balls.

    >> why?

    >> we're going to make a sauce here. it's a comep ochpote, right?

    >> crushed tomato right here. this is olive oil , garlic and parsley.

    >> add that, too. that looks great.

    >> for ten minutes. you're going to cook this really quick.

    >> right.

    >> we want it light and fresh, not a deep tomato sauce .

    >> we'll put the oil in?

    >> yes, little bit.

    >> just a little bit, not the whole thing? little bit more? be liberal? okay.

    >> that's good.

    >> you're going to show and tell, assemble it back here. the sauce is cooking here.

    >> i'm back at the tasting section. i jumped ahead. what do we do here?

    >> little mozzarella. little basil.

    >> real quick what it looks like on the other end.

    >> come on, mario.

    >> at this point --

    >> we've seassembled it into a little bun, put the basil on top?

    >> we're running through the steps because we're running out of time , gentlemen. egg plant parm, right? that looks amazing.

    >> next kathie lee and hoda

TODAY recipes
updated 1/25/2013 5:15:08 PM ET 2013-01-25T22:15:08

Recipe: Meatball parm

  • 5 lb ground beef
  • 2.5 lb sweet Italian pork sausage
  • 2.5 lb finely ground veal
  • 1lb onion, small dice
  • 4 oz garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch parsley, chopped
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 qt milk
  • 1 lb Italian bread, cubed and slightly toasted
  • 28 oz grated parm
  • Salt to taste

For sofrito:

1. Sweat garlic in olive oil until soft but not browned.

2. Add onion and parsley, and cook until onion is translucent.

3. Cool.


1. Soak bread in milk for twenty minutes.


1. Combine all ingredients and mix by hand in a large bowl.

2. Portion into 5.75 oz balls.

3. Shape balls into burger-like patties.

4. Dredge patties in flour and sear in canola oil on medium high heat, just to brown, not cook through.

5. Lay seared patties into hotel pan and cover with tomato compote and sprinkle with parm.

6. Cover and cook at 185 degrees for 45 minutes.

Pick up:

1. Spoon 2 oz tomato compote on cooked meatball.

2. Sprinkle with parm and top with 2 oz sliced mozzarella.

3. Melt cheese in broiler until browned and bubbly.

4. Place meatball on a seeded semolina roll.

5. Garnish with more parm and torn basil leaves.

Recipe: Chicken parm

  • 1lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 8 oz all-purpose flour
  • 8 oz Progresso breadcrumbs
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • Olive oil
  • 2 oz butter
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Thyme sprigs


1. Cut breasts into 4 oz pieces and lightly pound. Breasts should be about 1.2 inches thick and even.

2. Follow the standard breading procedure: Dredge chicken into flour, then egg, and then into breadcrumbs.

3. In a large sauté pan, heat olive oil and butter over medium heat. Add garlic and thyme.

4. Fry chicken in butter until golden brown. Season generously with salt.

Pick up:

1. Spoon 3 oz tomato compote onto chicken.

2. Sprinkle with parm and 2 oz sliced mozzarella.

3. Melt cheese in broiler until browned.

4. Place chicken on seeded semolina roll and garnish with parm and torn basil.

Recipe: Eggplant parm

  • 2 gallons crushed Jersey tomatoes
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 head of garlic, split
  • 4 oz basil leaves with stems

For assembly:

1. Fry eggplant in oil and garlic until golden brown. Season with salt.

2. Cool eggplant on paper towels.

3. Place eggplant in springform pan flat and cover all surfaces.

4. Spoon 8 oz tomato compote and spread evenly on eggplant.

5. Sprinkle generously with parm, sliced mozzarella and torn basil leaves.

6. Place eggplant over first layer, flat and covering all surfaces.

7. Spoon 8 oz tomato compote and spread evenly.

8. Sprinkle generously with parm and torn basil leaves.

9. Place eggplant over second layer, flat and covering all surfaces.

10. Spoon 8 oz tomato compote and spread evenly.

11. Sprinkle generously with parm, mozz and torn basil leaves.

12. Lay eggplant over third layer, flat and covering all surfaces.

13. Spoon 8 oz tomato compote and sprinkle generously with parm and torn basil leaves.

14. Cover with plastic wrap and foil.

15. Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 45 minutes.

16. Let cool completely and remove springform pan.

17. Slice into 14 pieces.

18. Re-heat and serve with tomato compote and grated parm.

For tomato compote:

1. Bloom olive oil, garlic and basil on low heat for twenty minutes.

2. Heat tomato in a stainless pot.

3. Season with salt and sugar.

4. Strain oil into tomato and emulsify. Discard basil and garlic.

5. Cook for 15 minutes.

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