Eggplant Parmesan

This is version of Eggplant Parmesan doesn’t actually have parmesan… I couldn’t think of what else to call it, so here it is. I find eggplant is at it’s best when you take the time to properly prepare it. My kids ate this the first time I made it, which is a success given the tricky texture and sometimes unappealing color of cooked eggplant.

2 medium eggplants, washed and peeled, and cut into 1/2″ rounds
1 1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour for dredging
2 eggs
3 cups bread crumbs
oil for frying (I prefer canola)
1 15 oz. can tomato sauce
1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 6 oz. can tomato paste
2 cups grated mozzerella or other good melting cheese
salt (for seasoning and sweating the eggplant)

Heavily salt the eggplant slices and allow to sit in a collander for I dunno, at least a half hour. Rinse the salt off and squeeze the slices out; set aside in a bowl and soak slices in the milk for about ten minutes. Shake excess milk off; dredge in flour and shake flour off; set aside. Beat eggs up well and pour into a shallow plate or dish. Set breadcrumbs in another dish. Dip eggplant slices in egg, then breadcrumbs. Pat the slices; they will take on fine breadcrumbs very well.

Preheat oven to 350. In batches, fry slices in medium heat until golden brown on both sides (a few minutes each side) and set aside. Meanwhile, prepare the sauce: combine and bring to a simmer the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, and paste. Salt generously to taste; add pepper to taste. Sauce should be very thick.* Set aside.

Layer eggplant slices in the bottom of a 9″ by 13″ baking dish. I hate to say it, but this recipe makes kind of one large baking dish plus a little extra, unless you pile them on top of one another. I usually make a single serving for one of our single friends. Carefully spoon sauce right on top of each slice. Top with grated cheese. Bake for 30 minutes or until the cheese is just turning golden. If you don’t overcook the cheese, the whole thing will be super easy to clean out of the pan.

It’s molten hot. Let it sit a while. Then use a spatula to spoon up the slices onto butter noodles. Help your kids cut it up. Tasty!

* This recipe makes extra sauce that you can either freeze or refrigerate and use. The sauce is very thick and flavorful – not for the faint of tomatoes! I used it for meatball sandwiches the next night.

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