About Me

I have been cooking my way through life for over 50 years, beginning with mud pies as a child. I've turned a corner now and feel a Renaissance in my life. Recipes and Random Thoughts is my personal spin in a blog about how to prepare good food and how it prepares you for life. I want to share with you, honest to goodness food punctuated with perspective from the special memories and moments that have marked my journey.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Eggplant Parmesan

I jotted down some notes to myself a while back on winter recipes and then the list got buried on my desk until a couple of days ago.  It's been a cold week and eggplant Parmesan fits the bill for a hearty meatless dish.  I don't fry the eggplant but oven bake panko encrusted slices for a lighter version.  I also used a high quality store bought marinara sauce mixed with some of my roasted red pepper sauce I posted last week to guild the lily (but not necessary).  This recipe uses three different cheeses, ricotta, shredded mozzarella and grated Parmesan Reggiano to seal the layers of eggplant.  Please note I didn't add any salt or pepper.  I don't think they are necessary here but, depending on the brand of sauce you use, a little extra basil won't hurt.  It's up to you.

1 medium/large egg plant, sliced to 1/4 inch(you'll need about 12-14 slices)
1 25.5 oz jar of Lucini Rustic Tomato Basil Sauce
1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
2 eggs lightly beaten
1 cup ricotta cheese
2 cups shredded Mozzarella
1 cup grated Parmesan Reggiano, divided
olive oil

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly oil a 9x13 baking dish. Line a heavy baking sheet with parchment paper.
Mix 1/2 cup Parmesan Reggiano with panko bread crumbs and spread on a dinner plate.  Lightly beat the eggs in a shallow dish.  Dip the egg plant slices in egg and then dredge in bread crumbs, then place on the baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and bake for 10 mins. Flip over and bake 10 more mins.   Spread a thin layer of sauce over the bottom of the baking dish, then a layer of breaded eggplant.  Mix the ricotta with any remaining egg and spread over egg plant. Cover with half the shredded mozzarella, then half the remaining sauce.  Repeat the layers and top with Parmesan Reggiano.  Drizzle with olive oil. Bake at 350 for 40 mins or until browned and bubbley on top.

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