I was very productive today! I woke up early and went to church with my mom (I miss my church in Houston, there is no one else like our pastor there). I came home and sewed and hemmed some things I have meaning meaning to fix up for a while. I went to pick up some plants and pots for my apartment. I also ordered some shelves from West Elm, but they won’t ship for another week. I love checking things off of my to-do list!
When I got my chores out of the way, I started on lunch. Let me just start off by saying how amazing this recipe is. I had to hold myself back for eating seconds…or thirds….
The sauce is home made and I also found myself licking my plate because the flavor was so amazing. Fresh basil is a must, and combined with the fresh mozzarella and Parmesan! I can’t go on any longer (I’m making myself hungry again), so you just have to try this yourself! Don’t let the amount of steps in this recipe intimidate you, it is really quite easy – and WORTH it!
For the sauce:
- 2- 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
- 10 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
- ½ cup fresh basil, chopped
- ¼-½ tsp. red chili pepper flakes
- ½ tsp. sea salt
- ½ tsp. fresh ground pepper
- ¼ cup + 2 tbsp. grated parmesan cheese
- 2 tbsp. heavy cream
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
For the eggplant parmesan:
- 2 medium sized eggplants
- 1½ cups panko (Japanese style) breadcrumbs
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 tsp. granulated garlic
- 3 tsp. sea salt
- 3 tsp. ground black pepper
- ¾ tsp. dried basil
- ¾ tsp. dried oregano
- ¾ tsp. dried thyme
- ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
- enough oil to fry the eggplant
- sea salt
- 1 lb. mozzarella cheese, grated
- 1 recipe of creamy garlic basil marinara sauce
First, prepare the sauce. Heat the olive oil in a medium sized pot, over medium heat. Add the garlic and chili pepper flakes. Sauté for a few minutes. Add in the basil, salt, pepper, and canned tomatoes, stirring to combine all the ingredients. Stir in the parmesan cheese and heavy cream, mixing until everything is well combined. Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, then cover and set aside until it’s time to put the eggplant parmesan together.
Preheat the oven to 375˚ F. You need two shallow dishes. In one, mix together the flour, Panko bread crumbs, 1 tsp. granulated garlic, 1 tsp. salt, and 1 tsp. black pepper. In another shallow dish, whisk together the eggs, milk, 1 tsp. granulated garlic, 1 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. pepper, ½ tsp. dried basil, ½ tsp. dried oregano, and ½ tsp. thyme, and ¼ cup grated Parmesan. Mix well.
Dip each slice of eggplant (both sides) in the flour mixture, then in the egg bath. I like to gently press the eggplant into the panko mixture, to make sure it gets a good coating. Do this with each slice of eggplant. You can set each the breaded slices on a cooling rack or dry baking sheet until ready to fry.
Fill a large pan with oil about a ½-inch deep. Heat over medium-high. When you drop a breadcrumb into the oil and it immediately bubbles back up to the surface, the oil is hot enough to begin frying your eggplant.
Fry the eggplant until golden brown on both sides (about 1½ – 2 minutes on each side). Drain on paper towels.
Once all the eggplant is cooked, you’re ready to start layering the eggplant parmesan. In a 9×13 inch baking pan, spread about a ½ cup of marinara on the bottom. Layer one fourth of all the fried eggplant over the sauce, overlapping slightly. Spoon on a quarter of the marinara, then top with a quarter of the grated mozzarella. Continue layering with: eggplant, sauce, cheese, eggplant, sauce, cheese, eggplant, sauce, cheese.
Bake for 30 – 40 minutes. Allow the eggplant parmesan to sit for about five minutes before cutting and serving.