Baked Eggplant Parmesan

Baked Eggplant Parmesan

Ingredients for Tomato sauce * You can use a sauce in a jar if you have one you really like, but this one is very easy and delicious.

IMG_17301 tbsp butter

1 tsp olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

1 carrot, peeled and chopped

1 rib celery, chopped

2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

¼ tsp red pepper flakes

½ tsp sugar

1 tsp salt

28 oz can tomatoes, it doesn’t matter if they are whole, diced, or crushed, just make sure they don’t have added seasoning like basil and garlic – you are the boss of that!

1 bay leaf

¼ cup red wine

5 or 6 basil torn leaves or ½ tsp dried basil

For Eggplant

1 large or 2 small eggplants

2 tbsp olive oil

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 cup panko breadcrumbs 

For Assembly

Sliced mozzarella cheese, about 4 oz

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Melt butter with olive oil in a medium sized saucepan over medium high heat.

Add onion, carrot, celery and garlic and cook until softened, about five minutes.

Add red pepper flakes, sugar, and salt and cook another minute. (add dried basil now if you are using it instead of fresh)

Stir in undrained tomatoes, add bay leaf and wine.

Let sauce simmer about 30 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes off the stovetop.

While the sauce is simmering, slice eggplant length-wise into ½ inch slices.

Pour olive oil on to a baking sheet and tilt to spread evenly.

Put the baking sheet in the oven for five minutes to heat surface.

Dip eggplant in beaten egg and coat with panko.

Place on prepared baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.

Flip eggplant slices and bake 10 more minutes on the other side.

While eggplant bakes, pour slightly cooled tomato sauce in a blender and pulse a few times. The consistency is up to you; I like it a bit chunky.

Return to sauce pan and add fresh basil if you are using it.

Keep warm until ready to use.

Assembly

Raise oven temperature to 400 degrees.

Use a baking dish large enough to make two layers of eggplant- mine was 8 x 8.

Pour in a thin layer of tomato sauce, top with eggplant and top eggplant with half of the mozzarella and half of the Parmesan cheeses.

Repeat with another layer of sauce, eggplant and cheese.

Bake for 20 minutes until sauce is bubbly and cheese starts to brown.

(Try not to burn your mouth on the first bite, it’s that good!)

© Deer One Publishing 2017