I could never get past the Eggplant Parmigiana at my favourite Italian restaurant. So I have recreated it here.
Or here is another awesome Marinara sauce if you are going home-made.
Since eggplant is fairly bland on its own I like Primo’s Rich ‘n Spicy or Spicy Red Pepper. You can just use your favourite sauce.
Many eggplant parmigiana recipes are almost like a lasagne but with eggplant layers. In this one the eggplant is sliced vertically, breaded and fried or baked. Then you put it on a little bed of sauce, top it with a bit more sauce, grated mozzarella and a sprinkle of parmesan.
Vegetarian if you use a meat free sauce.
You can fry or bake the breaded eggplant before you smother it in sauce and cheese. Eggplant is a bit like a sponge so it will soak up a lot of oil if frying. Make sure your oil is hot when the eggplant hits the pan. It should sizzle.
Here is what the fried version looks like.
Here is what the baked version looks like. Honestly, you can hardly tell the difference once the eggplant is dressed with its melted cheese and sauce but the fried version is a bit crisper in texture.
I served it with this Classic ‘Tableside’ style Caesar Salad...a match made in heaven.
This cries out for an Italian wine of course! A Chianti is an obvious choice but you might like to try a Barbera d’Asti, a low to medium tannin wine with high acidity to match the tomato sauce and with notes or red cherries and red plums and sometimes black pepper.
- 1 medium eggplant
- 2 cups panko bread crumbs
- 1/3 cup ground parmesan
- 2-3 eggs
- olive oil for frying see notes for baking option
- 8 oz mozzarella grated
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
- 2 cups spaghetti sauce approximately. Use your favourite.
- Cut ends off the eggplant. Take a vegetable peeler and cut a few strips of the purple flesh away. Slice the eggplant vertically in about 1/2" slices.
- Lightly whisk the eggs and put in a large flat bowl. Mix the bread crumbs and 1/3 cup of parmesan in another large flat bowl.
- Dip the eggplant slice in the egg and then the crumbs. Transfer to a platter.
- If frying: Add olive oil to a large skillet and heat it up. Add eggplant slices enough to cover the skillet. Do not crowd. The bread crumbs should sizzle when they hit the oil. Fry about 3 minutes, flip and fry another three minutes.
- If baking: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread about 1 tbsp of olive oil over the parchment. Spray the tops of the eggplant with cooking spray. Bake about 30 minutes. Reduce oven to 350 degrees.
- When eggplant has cooked transfer to a platter. Spray a large oven baking dish with cooking spray and spread half the spaghetti sauce on the bottom. Place the eggplants in the baking dish. Divide the remaining sauce by spoonfuls on top of the eggplant slices. Spread the mozzarella evenly over the slices and sprinkle with parmesan.
- Bake at 350 degrees 20-30 minutes until the cheese is melted through.