So here goes…..
My Mom and I made a big tray of eggplant parmesan a few months back. A lot of the dishes in our family start with a simple marinara, not to be confused with our “Sauce” that I posted with the meatball recipe. They are slightly different.
Olive Oil(Extra Virgin)
4 Cloves of Garlic
3 28oz Cans of Crushed Tomatoes
Pinch of Sugar
2 tsp of Salt(Kosher)
1 tsp of Fresh Ground Black Pepper
1/2 Cup of Chopped Italian Parsley
Use enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pot. Turn on the heat and then add the garlic and stir for about a minute or two, but be careful not to burn it. Next, add the 3 Cans of Crushed Tomatoes, Pinch of Sugar, Salt, Black Pepper, and Parsley.
Simmer it so that all of the ingredients will marry together. Usually for at least an hour.
A handful of Black Olives Pitted and Chopped
Approximately 1 TBSP of Capers in Salt(Rinsed and Choopped)
3-4 Cloves of Garlic
Red Crushed Pepper Flakes(Optional)
In a separate pot from the marinara, use a little olive oil and then add your ingredients above and cook through for about 3-5 minutes. It will become fragrant and you will see the olives and capers start to breakdown a bit. Then, you want to add this mixture into your pot of marinara and continue to let it simmer.
Before we started the sauce, we peeled and sliced 3-4 large eggplants. We placed them in a shallow dish of water, covered them with wax paper, and then placed a heavy dish or pot on top. After about 15 minutes you will see that the water turns a purple-ish color. We then drained the water and placed the eggplant on papertowels to dry off. Once dried, we set up two bowls, one with egg, one with seasoned breadcrumbs. We dipped each piece of eggplant into the eggwash, then into the breadcrumbs. After we finished we began to pan fry in Olive Oil. It only took a few minutes on each side. Once you see the edges start to turn a little brown and crispy, you know it is done.
As quickly as we were pulling them out of the pan and putting them onto a papertowel lined plate(helps absorb the oil), someone was doing a little pre-dinner tasting……
It was the first time she tried eggplant and she LOVED it. We had to cut her off after three pieces:))
She kept licking her fingers and saying, “More Mommy, More!” I wish my Grandmother was still here with us…. she would have truly appreciated Reagan’s love of food!!
By the time the eggplant was all fried up, the sauce was done and everything was ready to be layered in a large lasagna pan. We started by coating the bottom of the pan with the sauce, then we spread a layer of eggplant, then a little more sauce, then we topped it with shredded mozzarella cheese and pecorino romano. Then it was another layer of eggplant, sauce, and cheese. We kept repeating until we reached the top of the pan. I believe it was three or four layers in total. Then it was into the oven at 350 Degrees for about 40 minutes. You will see it start to bubble on the sides and the cheese will get brown on top.
This recipe takes some time and prep in the kitchen, but it is SO WORTH IT. I promise you, it will be the best eggplant you ever tasted. We all enjoyed this one….. even the kids and the best part, there were plenty of leftovers!
If you are an eggplant lover or just looking for something different, give it a try!!
And since we are talking “FOOD” today, I thought I would go ahead and announce the winner of Giada’s new cookbook, “Weeknights With Giada”. Random Number came up with #74. Congratulations Tammie T, you have a new cookbook headed your way! Just email me your address and I will get it in the mail to you.
Have a Terrific Tuesday Everyone!