My Mom makes the best Eggplant Parmesan I ever tasted! Never mushy, bitter or greasy. Just plain perfect.
Making eggplant parm is something of an inexact science, from the size of the eggplant to how much sauce you’ll need but it doesn’t have to be precise for it to work. It’s very forgiving, All you really need is eggplant, mozzarella, and a good, preferably homemade, sauce. Anything aside from that, like the Italian sausage topping this one is a bonus.
I know that frying the eggplant is a turn-off and can be time-consuming, not to mention messy. You can grill or roast the eggplant slices but it won’t be the same and frying it is the best way to prevent it form becoming mushy. The breading forms a crust around it that keeps the sauce from sinking in.
The reward will be the most delicious and comforting eggplant parm you ever tasted!
My Mom's Italian eggplant Parmesan recipe - the best I ever had!
- Peel the eggplant and slice crosswise into 1/4-inch rounds. Layer the slices in a large colander or on a wire rack, sprinkling each layer with salt. Let them drain while getting the sauce started.
- In a large heavy-bottomed pan heat the olive oil over medium heat and cook the sausage, turning to brown it on all sides. Move the sausage to the edges of the pan and add the onion and garlic to the center, cook a few minutes, stirring it often.
- Add the tomato paste and stir it into the onion/garlic and let it heat through.
- Add the tomatoes, water, and seasonings including the bay leaf, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.
- Simmer for 45 minutes, stirring often. Taste and add salt/pepper and more dried seasonings if needed.
- Meanwhile fry the eggplant. Brush off the excess salt with a paper towel and dry them
- In a large, deep-sided frying pan or Dutch oven on medium heat add about 1/2 inch of Canola oil.
- Set up the ‘dredging’ station: In a wide, shallow bowl beat the eggs and in another shallow, wide bowl add about 1/2 cup breadcrumbs to start and add more as needed.
- Dip the eggplant into the egg, let excess drip off and then coat it with bread crumbs patting it on with your hands.
- Fry the eggplant slices in batches until lightly golden on both sides. Drain on paper towels. Add more oil to the pan and let it heat up, as needed.
- Butter a large casserole dish (9x13 or 11x13-inch). Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Remove the bay leaf from the sauce and discard. Add a thin layer of sauce to cover the bottom, followed by a single layer of eggplant, top with sauce then sprinkle with about 1/4 of the mozzarella.
- Repeat until you use all the eggplant, you will probably have enough to make 3 layers. Sprinkle the top with the remaining mozzarella then slice the sausages and place on top.
- Bake about 30 minutes or until golden brown on top and bubbly. Let sit 5 minutes before slicing.
Copyright ©2014 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved