Monday, September 8, 2008

Eggplant Parmesano

This ended up being SO delicious! It's my favorite of all the new recipes I've tried lately. :) Paul was also a big fan. I got the recipe from a friend's blog (it can be found here); it's a family recipe of hers.

Eggplant Parmesano
2 medium eggplants, sliced (about ½ inch thick)
2 beaten eggs w/milk (I just prepared these as if I was making scrambled eggs)
1 cup Italian bread crumbs
olive oil (a few tablespoons)
1 jar spaghetti sauce (I picked a tomato and basil one, but any kind will work)
1 pound Italian sausage
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 bunch Italian parsley, chopped (Ok, I don't know anything about using fresh parsley, so I just chopped up the leaves and threw away the stems of half a bunch of parsley)
1/2 pound mozzarella cheese, sliced (This is funny--I could have sworn it said 1 lb., so I accidentally used a whole pound. It was very cheesy, but it was delicious. Then again, I love cheese! If you ask me, 1/2 lb wouldn't be quite enough. ;) Grated mozzarella would probably work just fine, too.)
1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese (Yeah so, I didn't buy fresh parmesan cheese. I just sprinkled the powder stuff on top because that's what I had. Works for me!)

Directions: (I'm writing the directions in my own words. I changed the order that she did things to try and save time and failed miserably. However, I still think some things should be switched around to make the best use of your time, so this is how I would do it in the future.)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice the eggplant and place in a large bowl of salt water. (I didn't really know how much salt to put, but the four teaspoons I used was definitely not too much. Then again, I used a LOT of water.) Soak for about 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, sautee the onions in a little bit of olive oil until they start to get tender. Add the garlic and sautee for a minute or two more. Add the sausage and cook and stir until the sausage is done. Drain the grease. Add the spaghetti sauce and parsley. Reduce heat to medium low and let simmer, stirring occasionally.

3. Drain and rinse the eggplant slices. Dip each slice in the egg mixture and then the bread crumbs, making sure the whole piece is coated evenly. Place the eggplant slices on a cookie sheet greased with olive oil. Sprinkle olive oil on top of each slice. Bake (at 400 degrees) for 15 minutes, turn them over, and then bake for 15 more minutes. They should be lightly browned on both sides. Once you remove the eggplant slices from the oven, reduce the temperature to 350 degrees. (While the eggplant slices are baking, slice your cheese and keep watch on the marinara sauce. Lower the heat or turn it off completely at your own discretion. I would let it simmer for at least 15 minutes, if not the whole time.)

4. Arrange half of the eggplant slices in one layer on the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish. Add one layer of mozzarella slices (1/2 of what you are using). Top with half of the marinara sauce. Repeat this process with the other half of the ingredients: first eggplant, then cheese, then marinara. Top with parmesan cheese. Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

(I took this picture before I baked it. I forgot to take a picture when it came out.)

I'm giving this recipe a medium difficulty level just because it's more involved than our easy ones. It's still straightforward and easy to make. I highly recommend it!

Also, the sausage adds a really nice flavor, but you can leave it out for a nice vegetarian meal or substitute hamburger if you want. I recommend the sausage, though.

As far as the length of time needed, I'm going to say 90 minutes. It took me longer, but that's because I sat and did nothing for 30 minutes while the eggplant was soaking.

1 comment:

Paula said...

Yum! I am SO going to try that one! I want some now...