As I'm sure you can tell by now, I love Italian recipes, and this one is a particular favourite as I also love eggplant. But even if you don't, you'll love this recipe. I serve this often to people who profess to dislike eggplant, and there are never any leftovers.
A lot of eggplant parmesan recipes call for breading and frying the eggplant first. This is a lot more work and I don't think it adds to the recipe at all. In fact I think it makes it much too greasy. My oven method not only saves time but give a better finished product.
This should serve 4 people very generously.
- 2 large eggplants
- 3 cups tomato sauce
- 2 to 4 tablespoons of olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups of grated Mozarella cheese
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat your oven to 400'F.
- Slice the eggplants, skin and all. Cut them about 1/2 an inch thick. Brush both sides of each piece with olive oil. You will find the eggplant really soaks this up, but don't put on too much or they will end up very greasy.
- Lay them onto a parchment lined cookie sheet so they all fit without overlapping, then cook for 15 minutes. Flip the pieces and cook for 15 minutes more. You don't have to use parchment paper. I just find it makes for easier cleanup.
- While the eggplant is baking, grease a baking dish with a bit more of the olive oil. You want one big enough that you end up with about 2 or 3 layers of eggplant.
- Put the eggplant into the greased baking dish, cover with tomato sauce, and sprinkle with the Mozarella and Parmesan. Repeat with remaining layers.
- Put back into the hot oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes more or until the cheese is all nicely melted and starting to brown.
An alternative method, if you have a barbecue handy, is to grill the eggplant. I have done it this way many times and it turns out very well.
This recipe calls for a lot of cheese so I wouldn't serve it on a regular basis, but it's a great company dish. You can layer it ahead of time, then put it into the oven just before you want to eat. A big green salad and a nice bottle of red wine is all you need to make this a memorable meal, with maybe some lemon bars or Panna Cotta for dessert - which you can make ahead as well.
A wonderful easy dinner party which the host or hostess gets to enjoy as well, not just the guests.