One of my aunt Kathy’s favourite dishes is Eggplant Parmesan, and I have been promising to make it for her since May… At least I had moving as an excuse, right?
The first time I made it, the eggplant came out all soft and squiggy and there are two things I had to do in order to change that: one is salt and drain the eggplant. I know, I know! It takes forever. yes, it does, but during that time you aren’t actually doing anything. Heck, you can drain them in the fridge while you are at work. Basically, all you do is salt the eggplant in a colander and leave it for an hour. Then you wash the eggplant and pat dry. The second thing to do is to use breadcrumbs instead of flour. If you use flour they will become mush, but breadcrumbs act like a protective barrier, it is really great!
Once you have felt with the eggplant, I promise you this recipe takes 30 minutes. That is all it took me: Prep took 4 minutes, I breaded and fried the eggplant in batches, that took 12 minutes, I put it in the oven for 10. The other four minutes is for all the taffy things: arranging the eggplant, topping with mozzarella, maybe accidentally banging your knee on the cabinet and needing a minute to calm down.. you know… things that happen when you cook.
Easy Eggplant Parmesan (Serves 4)
- 1 large eggplant
- 10oz pasta sauce (you can make your own or buy at the store, I used Classico)
- 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup (1 medium ball) mozzarella, torn into pieces
- 1.5 cups breadcrumbs
- 2 eggs
- dash salt
- dash pepper
- dash dried oregano
- 3-4 tbsp oil
To prep, turn the oven on to 350F, and put 3 tbsp oil in a large frying pan. Then scatter a layer of breadcrumbs on a plate and crack the eggs into a bowl. mix them together with a fork
Turn frying pan on medium heat to heat the oil
Cut the eggplant into circular slices as thick as your finger.
Dip both sides of eggplant into egg and then immediately into breadcrumbs, then place in the frying pan
Cook each slice of eggplant for 3-4 minutes, until browned, in as large a batch as you can
Once cooked, set them aside and repeat until you have fried all the eggplant
In a deep baking dish, pour roughly half the sauce so it makes a layer on the bottom
Top with a layer of eggplant
Top each eggplant round with a tablespoon of sauce and a sprinkle of parmesan and mozzarella
Repeat until out of eggplant or space in the dish
Top entire dish with cheese (and remaining sauce if there is any)
Pop in the oven until cheese melts and bubbles, about ten minutes.