This delicious, mouth-watering, comfort dish is one of my absolute favorites. I mean, who doesn’t like something that’s pan fried and smothered in sauce and cheese? It also happens to be one of Lila’s favorite dishes to make AND enjoy! So, I obviously had to get her recipe to share and so I could make it myself.
Eggplant Parmesan Ingredients (Serves 4):
- 1 large eggplant
- 1.5 cups flour
- 2 cups Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs
- 2 eggs + 1 TBS water
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella
- 1 shredded parmesan
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3 TBS EVOO
- 2 jars Marinara sauce (Rao’s is recommended) or homemade sauce (see recipe)
- 4 basil leaves
Eggplant Parmesan Directions:
- Cut eggplants into half-inch slices. Should make ~10 slices.
- Lightly salt eggplant slices on both sides. Lay out paper towels on a baking sheet and place eggplant slices on towels. Place another layer of paper towels on top of eggplant slices. Leave on paper towels for 30 minutes to 1 hour to drain the excess liquid.
- Preheat oven to 375.
- In one shallow bowl, mix flour with salt and pepper. In another shallow bowl, whisk the eggs with water. Place breadcrumbs in a third shallow bowl.
- One eggplant slice at a time, coat in flour then place in egg wash to cover on both sides. Finally, coat in breadcrumbs.
- Place all slices on a plate once breaded.
- Heat olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Working in batches, brown the eggplant slices in pan about 5 minutes each side. Make sure to not overcrowd the pan!
- Place browned slices on a plated lined with paper towels.
- Let your cast iron skillet cool off for 10 minutes before you start layering the eggplant.
- Coat the skillet with about 1/3 cup of sauce. Place one layer of eggplant down and coat with sauce, a third of the mozzarella and a third of the parmesan.
- Depending on your skillet size, you should be able to create 5 stacks with 2 layers of eggplant.
- Repeat stacking process with eggplant, sauce and cheeses until you’ve placed all slices into the pan and covered completely with sauce and cheese.
- Tear your basil into pieces and top your eggplant.
- Bake on 375 degrees for 30 minutes, or until the cheese browns.
Homemade Sauce Ingredients (adapted from Lidia Bastianich’s recipe):
- ¼ cup EVOO
- 8 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 2 – 28 oz. cans of peeled San Marzano tomatoes
- Crushed red pepper, salt and pepper to taste
- 10 fresh basil leaves, roughly torn
- 2 bay leaves
Homemade Sauce Directions:
- In a medium saucepan, heat the EVOO at medium heat.
- Add garlic and cook until lightly browned, about 3 minutes.
- Crush the canned tomatoes by hand before adding to the saucepan. Don’t over-crush because you want the sauce to be chunky!
- Add tomatoes + can juices to saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Add salt, pepper, crushed red pepper and bay leaves.
- Reduce heat to simmer, stirring sauce frequently for 20 minutes.
- Stir in basil about 5 minutes before sauce is finished.
- Taste sauce to adjust salt/pepper/crushed red pepper if necessary!