Have you been pregnant for what feels like an eternity and are keen to naturally kickstart labour?
An eggplant parmigiana recipe has gone viral after thousands of mums-to-be have gone into labour within 48 hours of eating the delicious dish.
The recipe originates from Scalini's Italian Restaurant in Georgia, USA, where nearly 300 baby pictures decorate the walls of the old-fashioned restaurant.
The eggplant recipe was born shortly after the restaurant opened almost 40 years ago.
"I guess I was the first 'eggplant baby,'" Scalini's manager Robert Bogino says, referencing the nickname that's now been given to the dish.
"It was my father's recipe, and it's delicious. My mum always told people she thought that was what sent her into labour."
Restaurant owner, John Bogino says the recipe's success rate speaks for itself.
"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. One person told another, and it just grew by itself by leaps and bounds."
"Certainly, we can't guarantee that it will work, because nothing is 100% effective, but we have had a pretty good success rate," says Bogino.
Since then, the recipe has been shared online and for mums-to-be who can't make it to the restaurant, they have whipped up the dish at home and are convinced the now-famous eggplant parmi is what brought on their labour.
"Britni didn't want to go 40 weeks, let alone 42. Came across your legendary labour inducing eggplant parm online. Spent a few hours cooking from scratch Sunday night and Teagan was born 1:58pm on Monday at 38 weeks. If it wasn't the cause, it was certainly one hell of a coincidence!" shared one new dad on Scalini's website.
"I was overdue and very miserable. My doctor had me scheduled to be induced. A friend of mine told me about your restaurant and its "magic". I looked it up online and was very excited you had the recipe posted! My boyfriend bought the ingredients and made it for us. The sauce is AMAZING! My contractions started 45 min later and I was in full labour the next day. I gave birth within 48 hours of eating your eggplant parmesan recipe!" shared a mum.
The recipe calls for three medium sized eggplants.
The eggplant parmi has also had success Down Under with a Sydney mother-of-five, saying that the recipe helped bring on labour for her third, fouth and fifth babies.
"I just wanted to thank your restaurant! I live in Australia and have 5 children. Here is a photo of our youngest (see below) – naturally induced courtesy of Scalini's eggplant parmigiana! His name is Isaak. When I was pregnant with my third child I was desperate for something to help the baby come soon! I heard stories about your eggplant parmigiana and found the recipe online. I re-created it and voila, my baby was born within 12 hours of eating it!!! The same with my 4th and 5th babies!! Don't know what the secret is but it really works… and anyway it is DELICIOUS!" shared the Sydney mum.
Little Isaak is an "eggplant baby".
THE MAGIC RECIPE: Eggplant Parmesan alla Scalini’s
3 medium size eggplants
1 cup of flour
6 eggs, beaten
4 cups fine Italian bread crumbs, seasoned Olive oil for saute'ing
8 cups of marinara sauce*
1/2 cup of grated Romano cheese
1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 lbs of Mozzarella cheese shredded 2 cups of Ricotta cheese
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 the skin contains a lot of vitamins.
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. This will drain the excess moisture. Let them set for about an hour.
Working with one slice of eggplant at a time, dust with flour, then dip in beaten eggs, then coat well with bread crumbs. Saute' in preheated olive oil on both sides until golden brown.
In baking dish, alternate layers of marinara sauce, eggplant slices, ricotta, parmesan, and romano cheeses, until you fill the baking dish about an 1/8 inch from the top.
Cover with shredded mozzarella cheese and bake for 25 minutes in 375 degree oven. Let set for 10 minutes before serving
** SCALINI'S MARINARA SAUCE**
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 of 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
Lightly saute' the onions in olive oil in large pot for a few minutes.
Add garlic and saute' another minute.
Add tomatoes and bring sauce to boil, then turn heat to low.
Add remaining ingredients, stir, cover and let simmer for one hour, stirring occasionally.