Baked Eggplant Parmesan

Cook, Fall, In Season, Meat-Free Mains, Recipes, Summer, Weeknight Dinner

Eggplant is hearty enough to replace chicken or veal for a satisfying meatless meal. Dredging and panfrying the eggplant slices adds crunch and flavor, before smothering them in the pan with spicy marinara sauce. Serve with a big green salad.

 

Baked Eggplant Parmesan

 

For the spicy tomato sauce:

2 Tbs. olive oil

4 large cloves garlic, chopped

4 cans (28 oz./875 g. each) diced tomatoes, drained

1 tsp. red pepper flakes

Salt and freshly ground pepper

 

2 Tbs. olive oil, plus more for dish

1 egg, beaten with 1 Tbs. water

1/2 cup (2 oz./60 g.) dried bread crumbs

1/2 tsp. dried oregano

2 Tbs. grated Parmesan cheese

Salt and freshly ground pepper

2 small eggplants, about 1 1/2 lb. (750 g.) total, each cut crosswise into 8 slices

1 cup (4 oz./125 g.) shredded mozzarella cheese

 

To make the spicy tomato sauce, in a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and red pepper flakes, raise the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until the sauce is thick, about 40 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Let cool slightly. Measure out 2 cups (16 fl. oz./500 ml.) of the sauce and set aside. Save the remaining sauce for another use.

 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Lightly oil a 9-by-13-inch (23-by-33 cm.) baking dish.

 

Put the egg mixture in a wide, shallow dish. Put the bread crumbs in another dish and stir in the oregano, Parmesan, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.

 

In a large fry pan, warm 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium-high heat. Working with 4 eggplant slices at a time, dip each slice in the egg mixture, letting the excess drip back into the bowl. Coat both sides with the bread crumbs and cook, turning once, until browned, about 6 minutes. Repeat with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and remaining eggplant. Transfer to a plate.

 

Spoon one-third of the reserved sauce over the bottom of the prepared dish. Arrange half of the eggplant slices in a single layer on the sauce. Spoon one-third of the sauce onto the slices and sprinkle with half of the mozzarella. Top with the remaining eggplant slices and cover with the remaining sauce and mozzarella.

 

Bake until the eggplant is tender and the cheese is lightly browned and melted, about 15 minutes. Divide among plates and serve. Serves 4.

 

2 comments about “Baked Eggplant Parmesan

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