Eggplant Parmesan (or Eggplant Parm) is a tasty, vegetarian dish, that can be made in a simple or complex manner. You could make your own red sauce, peel the eggplant, cut it length-wise, pan-fry the eggplant on the stovetop in batches, and shred your own cheese. Or you can do it the simple way, with minimal fuss and ingredients. Since this is “Cooking Secrets for Men”, we’ll focus on the simple method for Eggplant Parmesan.
Eggplant Parmesan is such an easy, classic vegetarian Italian recipe. Eggplant Parmesan, (parmigiana di melanzane in Italian), comes from Southern Italy. The most common thought of origin is the cooking of Naples. It is popular in Campania, Calabria (where my family is from) and Sicily too.
This version features sliced eggplant coated in seasoned Italian breadcrumbs. You bake them not fry them. Then, covered with marinara sauce, shredded fresh mozzarella cheese, and plenty of grated parmesan. Then baked to a bubbly, golden brown. Serve Eggplant Parmesan with cooked pasta for a complete meal!
Eggplant Parmesan Simplicity
Eggplant parmesan is cheap to make, feeds a crowd, and is a great make-ahead meal. You can assemble the Eggplant Parmesan ahead of time. Put it in the oven when you’re ready. The leftovers make great lunches!
This recipe features eggplant slices breaded in Italian breadcrumbs, which are roasted instead of fried (which is more traditional). I also don’t salt the eggplant before cooking with it. I don’t really think of it as a necessary step.
- 2 regular-sized eggplants sliced into ½ to ¾-inch rounds.
- Trim off each end. No need to peel
- 1 28 oz jar of store-bought red spaghetti sauce.
- Various spices for the sauce – Garlic onion, basil, Italian Spices, etc
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 1 pinch of sugar
- 2 eggs beaten, in a large bowl for dredging
- 4 cups Italian seasoned bread crumbs also in a large bowl for dredging
- 16 oz Package of shredded mozzarella cheese
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- ½ tsp dried basil
- Fresh Basil for garnish optional
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
- Empty a jar of red sauce into a saucepan.
- Season with Italian herbs, red wine, and a pinch of sugar, and simmer while preparing the eggplant
- Dip eggplant slices in egg, then in bread crumbs.
- Place in a single layer on a large baking sheet.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes 5 minutes on each side.
- In a 9×13 inch baking dish spread spaghetti sauce to cover the bottom.
- Place a layer of baked eggplant slices in the sauce.
- Sprinkle with mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.
- Repeat with the remaining ingredients, ending with the cheeses. Any extra sauce can be put on top.
- Sprinkle dried basil on top.
- Bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes, or until golden brown. Cheese can burn easily, so check after 25 minutes or so.
- Garnish the Eggplant Parmesan with fresh basil and serve. (Optional)
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