Eggplant Parmesan

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:

  1. Cut eggplants into half-inch slices. Should make ~10 slices.
  2. 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.
  3. Preheat oven to 375.
  4. 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.
  5. One eggplant slice at a time, coat in flour then place in egg wash to cover on both sides. Finally, coat in breadcrumbs.
  6. Place all slices on a plate once breaded.
  7. 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!
  8. Place browned slices on a plated lined with paper towels.
  9. Let your cast iron skillet cool off for 10 minutes before you start layering the eggplant.
  10. 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.
  11. Depending on your skillet size, you should be able to create 5 stacks with 2 layers of eggplant.
  12. Repeat stacking process with eggplant, sauce and cheeses until you’ve placed all slices into the pan and covered completely with sauce and cheese.
  13. Tear your basil into pieces and top your eggplant.
  14. 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:

  1. In a medium saucepan, heat the EVOO at medium heat.
  2. Add garlic and cook until lightly browned, about 3 minutes.
  3. Crush the canned tomatoes by hand before adding to the saucepan. Don’t over-crush because you want the sauce to be chunky!
  4. Add tomatoes + can juices to saucepan and bring to a boil.
  5. Add salt, pepper, crushed red pepper and bay leaves.
  6. Reduce heat to simmer, stirring sauce frequently for 20 minutes.
  7. Stir in basil about 5 minutes before sauce is finished.
  8. Taste sauce to adjust salt/pepper/crushed red pepper if necessary!

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