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Eggplant Parmesan

April 15, 2011

Although this is a very simple dish to just layer the beautiful ingredients, bake and dinner is ready, however the sauce will take some time.  I always make the Marinara the day before or if I am lucky have some in the freezer.  But if you have a favorite sauce that you purchase you are way ahead of things.  Many years ago I offered to make this for my family when I was visiting and I thought they were going to throw me out of the house.  I really was craving it so I made this and also Chicken Parmesan hoping they would all be happy (yea, right, I wanted to be happy).  The best part of the evening was at the end of the meal when I looked around and there was some of the Chicken Parmesan left, but none of the Eggplant Parmesan, and now they know they love eggplant too.  “Mangia Italiana”, I love this.

  

Eggplant Parmesan (Melanzane Parmigiana)

Ingredients

  • 2 Medium Eggplants or 1 Large (peeled and sliced in rounds)*
  • 2 t. Salt
  • 1 C. Flour
  • 2 Eggs (beaten)
  • 1 C. Breadcrumbs (fine; made at home or substitute Panko)
  • 3-4 T. Olive Oil
  • Aprrox. 2 C. Marinara (Simple Tomato Sauce)  (or purchase your favorite)
  • 1 lb. Mozzarella Cheese (sliced)
  • 1 C. Parmigiano Reggiano (grated) (addl. for garnish/optional)
  • Salt
  • Freshly Black Ground Pepper
  • 1lb. Spaghetti
  • Fresh Basil Leaves (for garnish)

* Sometimes I peel the eggplant but it is not necessary

Preparation

  1. Prepare Marinara (I usually do this the day before or in the morning, or have some frozen) (or buy your favorite)
  2. Salt the eggplant slices; set on paper towels and let drain 30 minutes
  3. Mix together the flour, salt and pepper; set up 3 separate plates for dredging (flour, egg and breadcrumbs)**
  4. Dip the slices of eggplant in the flour mixture, then the beaten egg mixture and finally the breadcrumbs
  5. Heat the oil in a large frying pan to medium high and saute the eggplant until golden brown on both sides/transfer to a paper towel to drain
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  7. Put a layer of Marinara Sauce on the bottom of a baking dish
  8. Add the eggplant, a layer of Mozzarella and Parmesan Cheese and additional Marinara (and repeat)
  9. Top with remaining Mozzarella and Parmesan
  10. Bake about 30-35 minutes (until the cheese melts and begins to bubble)
  11. Start your water for your spaghetti just prior to the eggplant being done and cook al dente
  12. Serve with a side of spaghetti on warmed plates with additional Marinara Sauce
  13. Garnish with Basil or Parsley

** I have made this without the dredging of flour, egg and breadcrumbs and is delicious as well

(Serves 4-6)

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