Easy Eggplant Parmesan

As I started to type this, I realized that our eggplant parmesan does not actually contain any parmesan.  Oops – we’ll have to add it next time.  J was very resistant to the idea of this dish until we saw Alex Guarnaschelli make her Eggplant Parmigiana on Alex’s Day Off.  We loved her recipe, but it was a lot of work, used too much cheese (and I love cheese) and yielded way too much food.  We scaled things back and started making this easy version.  You can used store bought sauce to make it even easier.

Since we made this up as we went along, all of these measurements are just guidelines.  Depending on the size of the eggplant, you might need a little more egg/flour/breadcrumbs or a little less.  You can add a little water to the egg to extend it.

 

Eggplant Parmesan

Eggplant

1 large eggplant
kosher salt
1 egg, beaten
1/2 c flour
1 1/2 c breadcrumbs
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
paprika, taste
garlic powder, to taste
onion powder, to taste
dried basil, to taste
dried oregano, taste

Sauce

1 T butter
28 oz can San Marzano tomatoes (whole or diced)
1 carrot, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1 small onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 T brown sugar
crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
fresh basil, chopped, to taste
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste

oil for frying
fresh mozzeralla, sliced
cooked pasta

1) Slice eggplant into 1/2″ rounds.
2) Arrange eggplant in a single layer in a large baking dish; sprinkle with kosher salt on both sides and allow to rest for an hour.
3) In the meantime, melt butter in a medium saucepan; add onion, carrot, celery and saute until translucent and tender.
4) Add garlic; saute for 1 minute.
5) Add tomatoes, sugar, red pepper flakes, basil, salt and pepper; mix well.
6) Simmer over med-low heat for at least 45-60 mins (longer is fine); if using whole tomatoes, break up with wooden spoon as they begin to break down.
7) Rinse eggplant with cool water; pat dry.
8) Place breadcrumbs in a shallow bowl; season with salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, dried basil, and dried oregano to taste.
9) Place beaten egg and flour in individual small bowls.
10) Dip each eggplant round in flour, then egg, then breadcrumb mixture.
11) Heat 1/2″ of oil in large skillet over medium heat.
12) Fry eggplant 3-5 minutes on each side or until golden brown; drain on paper towels.
13) To serve, layer pasta, eggplant, mozzarella and sauce.

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