Honest-to-goodness Italian comfort food comes in all different varieties, but typically pasta or meat are part of the equation. If you’re looking for something lighter– or you’re a vegetarian– eggplant parmesan is a real winner. All the key components of a hearty & delicious Italian meal are here: parmesan, mozzarella, garlic, basil, olive oil, and tomato sauce. Basing the ingredients around eggplant rather than pasta or meat gives you an extra serving of veggies and leaves you feeling just a little bit less stuffed.
This recipe was a classic in our Italian-American household. My Italian-born Great-Grandmother always had a steaming plate of melanzane alla parmigianawaiting for us on the kitchen table. Make this your go-to recipe when it’s Italian comfort food you’re after!
1 large eggplant,peeled and cut into 1/3 inch slices
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups seasoned dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup olive oil
1 1/2 cups whole peeled tomatoes
1/2 lb shredded mozzarella
1/3 cup grated parmesan
freshly ground black pepper
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
1/2 cup packed, fresh basil leaves
1.Arrange a layer of eggplant slices in a colander. Sprinkle generously with salt. Continue layering and salting all eggplant slices.
Let stand 30 minutes. Rinse and pat dry.Dip each eggplant slice in beaten egg, and dredge with breadcrumbs.
2.Heat oil in a large, heavy skillet. Over medium high heat fry eggplant in 1/4 cup hot oil about 2 minutes per side until golden. Drain on absorbent paper.
3. Prepare tomato sauce:Combine tomatoes, garlic and 1/4 cup olive oil in a food processor. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
4.Preheat the oven to 350∞F. In the bottom of a 10×15 inch, lightly greased glass baking dish, spread 1 cup of tomato sauce. Top with one third of the eggplant slices. Top eggplant with half of the mozzarella slices. Sprinkle with one third of the Parmesan and half of the basil leaves.
5.Make a second layer of eggplant slices, topped by 1 cup of sauce, remaining mozzarella, half the remaining Parmesan, and all of the remaining basil. Add remaining eggplant, and top with the remaining tomato sauce and Parmesan.
6.Bake 25-30 minutes, until bubbly and slightly browned. Allow to rest at room temperature for about 10 minutes before serving.
7. Buon appetito!
Makes 4 servings
Recipe adapted fromfood.com