The agony continues back in the states; missing wandering the streets of Italy, drinking wine from decanters any hour of the day and basking in course upon course of pasta and cheese.
With my husband begging for a glimpse of this bittersweet memory, I decide to treat him to his favorite meal – Baked Eggplant Parmesan. If you would have asked me 3 years ago if I would eat the green, slimy vegetable, I would have scrunched my nose faster then you could finish the question. Alas, for love, I have learned how to cut the vegetable, get most of the goo off, cook it and dress it on a plate for an hour (or usually 10 minutes) of smiles while he devours.
If you have the time, it’s a great meal to fill the house with smells of Italy. What has made the dish even better, is finagling the secret recipe from my husbands’ family for a red, spicy sauce.
Cheese you ask? Only the best fresh mozzarella to complete this dish.
I’ll give you my recipe for baked eggplant, but you’ll have to kill me for the sauce.
- Large eggplant
- Italian Bread Crumbs (or breadcrumbs, basil, red pepper, salt, pepper, etc.)
- Grated parmesan cheese
- 2 eggs
- Pasta sauce (hint: use fresh garlic and some red pepper please)
- Slices of mozzarella (I use a whole log from Trader Joes)
Slice the eggplant so you have ¼-in slices of circles. Lay out on paper towels and soak excess water from eggplant for about 20 minutes (more time is better to get crispier).
Heat olive oil in a skillet on medium heat.
Mix breadcrumbs, parmesan, salt and red pepper in one bowl. Beat eggs in another bowl. Lay out more clean paper towels to begin frying.
Dip eggplant slices into the egg, then breadcrumbs and drop into the oil. Cook on each side for about 3 minutes or until a golden brown.
After all pieces are fried, layer a casserole/baking dish with red sauce. Add four eggplants. Top with mozzarella slices, red sauce and another eggplant slice. Continue until all eggplants are in the dish. Layer with leftover mozzarella and sprinkle with parmesan.
Place in oven at 350 degrees for about 25-30 minutes until the dish is bubbling and the cheese is fully melted, sliding to the sides.
Thank Ashley later.