I’m always hesitant to attempt Italian dishes because my mom cooks them so well. But last weekend, after our long 17-mile bike ride, Todd and I decided that we really wanted eggplant parmigiana. Unfortunately, we’d never tried to make it before. After doing some online research and soliciting guidance from both of our moms, we managed to put together our own recipe. The eggplant parm (and the beef/veal meatballs we made on the side) both tasted pretty delicious, if I do say so myself. Keep reading for the eggplant parm recipe, and share your own variations if you’ve also cooked this Italian staple (which was the earliest version of a parmigiana, according to Wikipedia).
~2 six-inch eggplants
~1 sweet onion (chopped)
~At least 3 cloves of garlic (chopped)
~27 oz. can of tomato puree
~27 oz. can of crushed tomatoes (or real tomatoes)
~A pinch of sugar
~1 cup parsley (chopped)
~2 bags of shredded, whole-milk mozzarella cheese
~A large pot for the sauce, a frying pan, three smaller bowls, and at least one tin baking tray
About two hours before you plan to start cooking your eggplant, slice them into thin, round pieces and salt them generously. Lay them flat over a few layers of paper towels and then cover them with another paper towel. On top of them, place something heavy like a cutting board or a book. This will help release moisture from the eggplant, which will keep it from getting soggy during cooking and will help rid it of any bitter flavor.
~In a large pot on the stove, sauté the onions and garlic for a few minutes before adding tomato puree, crushed tomatoes, and parsley. Let this simmer throughout the remaining steps.
~Gently wash the eggplant with water to remove some of the salt.
~Break two eggs into one small bowl; pour flour into another and breadcrumbs into the final bowl.
~Dip the eggplant slices first in the egg, then in the flour, then in the breadcrumb.
~Once all of the slices have been coated, fry them in oil over the stove until they are browned on both sides.
~Scoop a layer of sauce into the bottom of a baking tin. Spread eggplant slices on top of the sauce, and then layer a generous helping of cheese on top of them. Continue this process until you have used up all of the eggplant. (Ours ended up being three layers; if you have a ton of eggplant, you might want to just use two baking tins instead of one. If you have extra sauce left over like we did, you can use it for meatballs!)
~Bake on 400 for at least 10 minutes to melt the cheese. (The longer you bake, the more the cheese will brown. I think Todd and I kept ours in for about 20 minutes.)