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no fry eggplant parmesanAnother meatless dish we often had was Eggplant Parmesan. However, I remember Mom always fried the breaded eggplant slices before placing them in a casserole dish. I have breaded the eggplant the same way Mom did, but I baked the slices instead of frying them.

Eggplant is like a sponge and will absorb a great deal of oil when fried. Thus, baking the breaded eggplant slices will make this dish much lower in fat content. Also, this casserole is usually layered with just tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese. I have added ricotta cheese, as well as mozzarella, in the layering, similar to baked lasagna. You will notice, I use whole canned tomatoes for my sauce, but you can use canned crushed tomatoes as well. I find the whole tomatoes give a fresher taste to the sauce. If you use crushed tomatoes, eliminate the tomato paste since crushed tomatoes have puree added which will be the thickener needed for the sauce.

This dish can be made ahead of time, refrigerated, and then reheated in the oven covered with a sheet of foil or reheated in the microwave. It also freezes well. Letting it sit before slicing makes slicing easier and uniform. In fact, individual slices can be wrapped and frozen for single servings. The recipe for the tomato sauce is more than enough to layer the eggplant and have some leftover to serve on the side, for those who may want extra sauce.

Serves: 6

Ingredients:

eggplant parmesan recipe

  • 1 large eggplant
  • Salt

Tomato Sauce:

  • 2 28-oz can whole peeled plum shape tomatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic finely minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbs dried basil
  • <1 tbs dried oregano

Eggplant Breading:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbs water
  • 1 tbs grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups dried Italian style bread crumbs

Ricotta Filling:

  • 15 oz container ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbs chopped parsley
  • 1 tbs grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups grated mozzarella cheese

Directions:

  1. Wash, do not peel eggplant.
  2. Slice in 1/4 inch rounds.
  3. Sprinkle slices with salt.
  4. Layer in a colander and set aside. This helps tenderize the eggplant and draw out excess moisture.

Meanwhile Prepare Tomato Sauce:

  1. Place tomatoes in blender or food processor and process until smooth.
  2. In medium saucepan, coat bottom of pan with olive oil. Heat till hot.
  3. Add garlic and saute until soft.
  4. Add tomato paste, stir mixing paste and garlic and heat 1 minute.
  5. Add tomatoes, salt, pepper, basil and oregano and mix thoroughly.
  6. Bring to a boil.
  7. Continue cooking over medium heat, stirring occasionally.

While sauce is cooking – Prepare Eggplant:

eggplant parmesan breading

  1. Preheat oven to 425°
  2. Beat eggs, salt, pepper, water and parmesan cheese in shallow bowl until well beaten.
  3. Use two sheets of wax paper, place flour on one sheet and bread crumbs on second sheet.
  4. Dredge eggplant in flour, shake off excess.
  5. Dip in egg and then dredge in bread crumbs, pressing crumbs to eggplant.
  6. Place slices on a cookie sheet greased with olive oil.
  7. Lightly sprinkle tops with olive oil.
  8. Place in oven and bake about 8-10 minutes until brown.
  9. Turn slices oven and bake 8-10 minutes until brown.
  10. Set aside and prepare ricotta.

oven baked eggplant

Ricotta:

  1. Place ricotta cheese, salt, egg, parsley and parmesan cheese in a mixing bowl and mix until creamy.

Prepare casserole:

  1. In a square casserole dish, 8×8 or 9×9, arrange a layer of tomato sauce on the bottom of the dish.
  2. Cover with slices of eggplants, overlapping slices.
  3. Spread a half of the ricotta, 1/3 of grated mozzarella cheese and cover with tomato sauce.
  4. Add another layer of eggplant and continue layering until all the ingredients are used.
  5. Top with grated mozzarella cheese.
  6. Place casserole dish on cookie sheet in case sauce bubbles over.
  7. Bake 35-40 minutes until brown and bubbly.
  8. Let stand for 15-30 minutes before slicing.

eggplant parmesan casserole

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Filed under: Vegetarian

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