I don’t now about you, but Eggplant Parmesan is one of my favorite dishes. It satisfies something deep down in my being….makes me think I must have Italian ancestors somewhere back there….wouldn’t that be nice? And, I wish I still had relatives there living a beautiful villa in a quaint little Italian Village…..that would work! I can claim this: My son proposed to his sweetheart in a city park overlooking the country side in Monterubbiano, Italy. I’m thinking that counts for ‘honorable mention’ at the very least…..;) And when I painted the backdrops for our Nutcracker production my husband nicknamed me Michalangela. There, you see? I have many reasons to claim Italian heritage…
Now for my perfectly simple recipe for Eggplant Parmesan.
The first thing we need to do is to choose our eggplant carefully. When it comes to eggplant, bigger is not better. You want to choose and eggplant that is medium in size, firm, and without blemishes.
Did you now there are boy and girl eggplants? Well, there are. And guess who’s the sweetest? Nope, I knew you’d say the girl….only true in humans. 😉 The boys are sweeter. So how do we tell the difference? It’s fairly easy. Look at the blossom end of the eggplant. That’s the end without the stem….The little scar is where the blossom used to be. The scar is either round or long. The round is the boy, or male. The female is the long. The female seems to have more seeds, causing it to be more bitter, so ‘they’ say. But truthfully, as long as you don’t go for the huge eggplants and stay with the small to medium size, you should be fine. Last night I used a female and it was delicious, so don’t fret over this at all.
After you wash your eggplant, you’ll want to slice it about in 1/3 inch thick slices. Spread them out on top of paper towels and sprinkle with salt. Cover with more paper towels and place something heavy on top of them all. This aids in removing bitterness. It also removes excess moisture keeping your ‘parmigiano’ from being soggy.
I use a wooden cutting board. Leave them for 15 minutes or until you are ready to cook. I left mine longer. Dry them off and you’re ready to cook.
First you will want to dip the slices into egg and then into a parmesan cheese and flour mixture. Fry in hot oil a few slices at a time.
Drain. Once all slices are cooked ad drained, arrange in a baking dish in layers. Over the arranged slices, sprinkle more parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Next pour your favorite spaghetti sauce. We like Traditional Prego. If you have time and want you may want to make your own sauce, or just use tomato sauce seasoned with Italian seasonings. It will take 2-3 cups. Over that, generously sprinkle shredded Mozzarella cheese.
Bake in a preheated 350* for about 40 minutes. If cheese begins to brown too much, cover lightly with foil.
Serve with a salad and roll. I also like to serve with a heaping serving of cottage cheese. (FYI~This is especially helpful if you have a problem with heartburn.) Cottage cheese is a delicious accompaniment to Eggplant Parmesan. Who knew?
Homemade Eggplant Parmesan is soooo much better than just about any I’ve ever had in a restaurant. If you long for the satisfying taste of eggplant parmesan….make this. It’s quick and easy. And delicious! Enjoy!
- 1-2 medium eggplants, washed, and sliced in 1/3 inch slices
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 3 cups Spaghetti sauce
- 1 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, divided
- 1 cup flour
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- salt and pepper
- place eggplant between paper towels with something heavy on top and allow moisture to be removed from eggplant.
- Mix 1 cup parmesan cheese and 1 cup of flour and set aside.
- Dip eggplant slices into egg and then flour mixture.
- Fry in a small amount of oil, until lightly browned and tender.
- Drain on paper towels.
- Arrange in shallow baking dish in layers.
- Sprinkle with remaining parmesan cheese, Salt and pepper to taste
- Pour spaghetti sauce all over top of slices.
- Top with mozzarella cheese.
- Bake 350* until golden brown, about 40 minutes. It will be nice and bubbly.
- It's HOT so serve after it cools a bit.
- Serve with cottage cheese on the side, if you like. We do! 🙂