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5 from 6 votes

Eggplant Parmesan

Eggplant Parmesan combines lightly battered slices of fried eggplant layered with marinara and mozzarella cheese and baked until bubbly.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 30 minutes
salting time1 hour
Total Time2 hours 45 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 6

Ingredients

For the marinara sauce

  • 5 cloves garlic sliced
  • 2 28 ounce cans plum tomatoes hand crushed or blender pulsed
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • salt to taste
  • 3 basil leaves

For the eggplant

  • 2 cups olive oil or enough to fill up pan at least 1/2-inch high
  • 3 large eggplant sliced into rounds 1/4-inch thick or less, salted for 1 plus hours - see notes below
  • 1 cup flour for dredging only
  • 10 large eggs plus more if needed
  • 1 cup Pecorino Romano grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup Italian flat-leaf parsley minced

Assembly ingredients

  • 5 cups marinara sauce from recipe above, you will have leftover sauce!
  • 1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano grated
  • 1 pound mozzarella shredded
  • 1/4 cup packed basil leaves hand torn

Instructions

Salt the eggplant

  • Salt the eggplant slices then place in a colander to drain with a plate beneath. Also, place a plate on top of the eggplant and a weight (canned tomatoes work well) to aid in water removal. After a minimum of 1 hour, rinse or wipe the pieces with a damp towel to remove most of the excess salt. Pat the pieces dry. They are now ready for frying.

Make the marinara sauce

  • Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan to medium-low and add the garlic.
  • Once the garlic turns golden (about 2-3 minutes) add the red pepper flakes and cook for 30 seconds more. Add the tomatoes and bring the sauce to a simmer, stirring occasionally.
  • Season the sauce with salt to taste and add the basil leaves. After 15 minutes of simmering, set the sauce aside covered to keep warm, or keep it cooking over very low heat.

Fry the eggplant

  • Heat a 1/2 inch of olive oil in a large heavy pan to 360-370f.
  • In a large bowl mix together the eggs, Pecorino, black pepper, and parsley.
  • Pat the eggplant pieces dry then dredge in flour and shake off the excess. Place the eggplant into the egg mixture then let it drain for a few seconds on the side of the bowl before gently adding to the hot oil.
  • Fry the eggplant until golden (about 3-4 minutes per side) then place on a paper towel lined plate or baking sheet to drain. Blot the eggplant with paper towels to remove excess oil. Work in batches until finished.

Assemble and bake

  • Preheat oven to 400f and set the rack to the middle level.
  • Note: You will need roughly 5 cups of sauce. You might have a bit of extra sauce left over. Place a thick layer of marinara sauce into a 9x13" baking dish then add 1 layer of eggplant. Dividing roughly equally between the layers, add more sauce, torn basil leaves, shredded mozzarella, and grated Parmigiano Reggiano. Repeat in layers to the top of the baking dish.
  • Bake for 30 minutes at 400f in the middle of the oven. For a browner top, broil for the last 2 minutes. Check at all times so it doesn't burn.
  • Let the eggplant parmesan rest for at least 20 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Video

Notes

  • Peeling the eggplant is optional so feel free to leave the skin on if you'd like. The eggplants can be sliced into rounds or lengthwise.
  • Salting is optional, though it's highly recommended.  The salt removes excess water from the eggplant which helps achieve a much better fry.  Make sure to remove the salt before frying.  Wipe the eggplant with a damp towels or run them under water.  Either way, make sure to thoroughly dry the pieces before dredging and frying. 
  • After frying be sure to let the eggplant drain on a wire rack or paper towels.  In addition, make sure to blot any excess oil from the eggplant before assembling the parmigiana.
  • Extra sauce is great to serve on the side.  Leftover sauce can be saved for up to 5 days in the fridge or frozen for up to 6 months. 
  • Leftovers can be saved in the fridge for up to 3 days and can be reheated in the oven at 350f until warm.

Nutrition

Calories: 573kcal | Carbohydrates: 25.1g | Protein: 24.5g | Fat: 44.2g | Saturated Fat: 13.7g | Cholesterol: 176mg | Sodium: 528mg | Potassium: 774mg | Fiber: 7.8g | Calcium: 439mg | Iron: 2mg