i was a pretty strict vegetarian for about three or four years. in that time, i learned MANY ways to cook eggplant. i previously had never had eggplant, and now – even though i eat meat – i still love it!
i have tried easily a dozen or more ways to make eggplant parm. this is what i’ve ended up with as my go-to recipe.
1 eggplant, peeled and sliced
1 jar of pasta sauce (the bigger the better. i can usually get by with one jar – but if you like more sauce, grab another one)
1/2 box of pasta (angel hair, spaghetti, linguini – whatever you’re into)
1 tbsp basil
2 cups panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1 cup mozzarella cheese
first, you need to degorge your eggplant. that word sounds crazy and complicated – but essentially, you’re using salt to sweat out the eggplant. the brown seeds in an eggplant have a bitter liquid, so this makes it taste better. lay the slices on a paper towel and sprinkle each side with salt. let sit for 15 to 30 minutes. when finished, wash all the liquid and salt off of the pieces. pat dry.
in a bowl, combine bread crumbs, basil and parmesan cheese. in another bowl, scramble eggs with about a 1 tablespoon of water. dip eggplant slices in egg mixture, then bread crumbs and place on a baking sheet. bake at 350F for 25 minutes.
when eggplant is done baking, remove from oven. cover bottom of glass baking dish with pasta sauce. depending on how much sauce you have, how much you use at the bottom will vary. i do a pretty thin layer – just enough to keep it from sticking to the bottom. layer eggplant, then more pasta sauce and then mozzarella cheese. repeat until all eggplant is in the dish.
cover will aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes.
when there is about 15 minutes left for the eggplant, make pasta according to package. also heat the rest of the pasta sauce.
when eggplant is done cooking, remove from oven and let it rest for about five minutes. then serve over pasta and remaining sauce.