Homemade Eggplant Parmesan, topped with a quick and easy marinara sauce, fresh mozzarella, and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese makes a great weekend or special occasion dinner.
As soon as I saw the Italian Fest theme for this #SundaySupper I knew my friend Manuela from Manu’s Menu would make the perfect host. She was born and grew up in Italy, and now lives in Australia while blogging the most delicious sounding Italian food. I have tons of her recipe in my “Recipes To Try” on Pinterest, and had planned on making a pizza of hers to share with you today, but changed my mind after I realized I would then have shared two pizzas in a row after Monday’s Margherita Naan Pizza . Oops!
I love Eggplant Parmesan, and for years I pretty much followed the recipe from Scalinis Family Italian Restaurant,which has a unique story behind it that I first heard when I was pregnant with my daughter. It seems their Eggplant Parmesan puts pregnant women into labor! I’ve never even been to the restaurant, but I saw a story online about them, and decided to try it. I can’t say that it worked or not really, I think I made it on Friday and our daughter was born on Monday, but she was due the next day anyway.
The only problem with their recipe is it takes a long time to make, and it makes a TON. Let’s face it, this isn’t a weeknight dinner even with my shortened version. It is a lot smaller though, about enough for a family of four. If you want to increase the amount of eggplant make sure to increase the amount of sauce. The sauce recipe below is my fixed version of what I originally tried to make, after I realized it wasn’t enough.
How do you make Eggplant Parmesan?
First sliced eggplant is salted, covered with paper towels and weighted with something heavy like a cookbook to pull out the moisture in the eggplant (leave it sit covered for thirty minutes to an hour), then dredged in flour and fried until crisp, topped with an easy sauce and fresh cheeses, then baked until bubbling.
Don’t skip the salting and covering, it makes the eggplant crispy and delicious!
Eggplant Parmesan is one of the most common Italian dishes, but it is so good that I believe that everyone needs to make it at home! Read on after the recipe to see all the other great Italian recipes shared today.
- 1.5 pounds dark purple eggplant
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 cups canola oil, for frying the eggplant (or as much as needed)
- 2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
- 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley (or 1 teaspoon dried), plus extra for garnish
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped basil (or 1 teaspoon dried)
- 1 tablesppon olive oil
- pinch crushed red pepper flakes, crushed between your fingers until fine
- 1/2 pound fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced as thin as possible
- 1/2 cup grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- butter flavored non-stick cooking spray
Cut off the steam and slice the eggplant, unpeeled, into 1/4 inch thick slices. Lightly salt 1 side of each slice and place stacked in a colander. Cover with a paper or kitchen towel and weigh down with something heavy (like a cookbook) to draw out the moisture. Leave for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Meanwhile, prepare the sauce. Pour the olive oil in a medium saute pan, add the tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, chopped parsley, basil and crushed red pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, for ten minutes. Remove from the heat, set aside.
Place the flour in a shallow bowl or plate. Pour about an inch and a half of canola oil into a large frying pan; heat over medium-high heat. Pat the eggplant dry, one piece at a time, dredge in the flour, and place in the hot oil. Continue quickly repeating with remaining eggplant, without over-crowding the pan. Turn the eggplant once, when golden. Remove from the oil onto a rack or large platter lined with paper towels without over-lapping. Repeat until all the eggplant is cooked and golden. Pat lightly with paper towel to remove excess oil.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a large glass baking pan with the cooking spray, place a layer of eggplant in the pan, top with a layer of sauce, slices of mozzarella, and half the Parmesan. Repeat until all the eggplant is in the pan, with a final layer of sauce. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes, remove from the oven and top with a final layer of mozzarella and Parmesan, return to the oven for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.
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And Artichoke Torta plus More Recipes for Italian Fest from Sunday Supper Movement
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