The use of jarred tomato sauce cuts down on the prep time for this wonderful homemade dish. But you can always make your own, if you prefer. This is a great meal to feed a hungry family or bring to a dinner party as the main entrée. And it’s vegetarian!
(Mostly) Homemade Eggplant Parm
- 3-4 large eggplants
- 5 cups panko breadcrumbs or 3.5 cups Italian breadcrumbs
- 8 eggs
- 2 cups flour
- 3 cups vegetable oil (for frying)
- 1 lb shredded parmesan cheese
- 1 lb shredded mozzarella cheese
- 2 24-oz jars Francesco Rinaldi Sweet & Tasty Tomato Sauce
- ½ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley ((optional). )
- Slice your eggplants lengthwise in ¼” or slightly smaller planks.
- Salt your eggplant slices gently on both sides and place on layers of paper towels to drain.
- Wait 15 minutes.
- In the meantime, prepare your standard breading procedure set-up,
- Placing your flour, whisked eggs, and breadcrumbs into three separate shallow containers that are large enough to fit an entire slice of eggplant.
- Carefully dredge each slice in flour, knocking off the excess flour.
- Then gently coat the surfaces of each slice with a thin layer of egg wash
- You can add some milk to your eggs if your mixture is too thick), followed by a coating of the breadcrumbs.
- You may not use all your breadcrumbs here, but you want to make sure you have enough to finish breading all of your eggplant slices.
- Set aside the prepared slices of eggplant and get your frying oil ready.
- Heat 2 cups of oil in your large frying pan to roughly 350F
- Fry each side of the eggplants in a shallow layer of oil.
- Regulate the heat to avoid the oil from getting too hot and beginning to smoke.
- If you need to cool down your oil or your oil level is getting too low, add some more room temperature oil and reheat to 350F.
- Drain the fried slices of eggplant on layers of paper towels.
- Now you can begin your eggplant parm assembly
- Start by greasing your 9X13” high-sided casserole baking dish with butter or vegetable oil on the inside.
- Add a thin layer of tomato sauce, followed by a layer of fried eggplant slices, followed by parmesan and mozzarella cheese, followed by a pinch of fresh parsley (parsley is optional).
- Repeat this layering process until all your eggplant and sauce has been used up
- Finish with a topping of mostly parmesan cheese.
- Bake covered with foil in a 375F oven for 30 minutes.
- Increase heat to 390F, remove the foil
- Bake for an additional 20 minutes, or until the top layer of parmesan cheese is nicely golden brown
- The casserole is hot all the way through.
- Allow to rest for 30-45 minutes before cutting and serving.