On a cold fall evening, nothing beats a warm dish of comfort food. One of our favorites is eggplant parm. It’s not too often that it makes it into this final form since the first part of the prep- the breaded cooked pieces- never seem to make it into the pan for the sauce. Why? Because everyone walking by takes “Just one!” piece and eats it! Kind of like sneaking a meatball. Well, last night I was able to swat hands away and the final outcome? Lots of “Mmmmm!”
I make this “old-style”, meaning, I don’t measure anything! So below is a guess-ti-mation of ingredients.
1 large eggplant (about 1-1/2 lbs.)
4 C. Seasoned Breadcrumbs
1-1/2 C. Romano cheese (Locatelli)
3 Tbsp. parsley
1 Tbsp. basil
generous shake of garlic salt
1/2 C. Olive oil
2 C. spaghetti sauce
1 C. Mozzarella cheese
In a pie plate, beat egg. In separate pie plate mix bread crumbs, cheese and spices. Mix. Slice eggplant in 1/4 inch slices. I prefer to keep the skin on, but if you do not like that, you can peel before slicing. Dip each slice on both sides in the egg and then in the bread crumbs. Be sure to cover both sides. In frying pan, place about 2 tablespoons of olive oil to coat the bottom of pan- as you make your way through the eggplant pieces, continue to add oil a little bit at a time so the eggplant does not stick.
Place eggplant in pan (which has been heated over medium heat) being careful not to crowd the pan. Cook until golden brown (about 5 minutes) and then turn over to brown on other side. When cooked, place on plate to cool. It’s ok to pile on top of each other-pieces will be transferred to a baking dish (I used an 8x2x2 glass pan). Cook entire eggplant. You may find you may need more breadcrumb mixture, egg or oil. Adjust accordingly.
When eggplant is cooked, begin to layer in ungreased pan, just overlapping the edges of each piece. When complete cover with about 3/4 cup of sauce. Add another layer of eggplant. Cover with 3/4 cup sauce. Sprinkle a generous handful (about 1/2 cup) shredded mozzarella cheese and about a tablespoon of Romano cheese. Add final layer of eggplant, sauce to cover and rest of Mozzarella cheese and sprinkle of Romano cheese. Cover with foil and bake in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. Let stand about 15 minutes before cutting and serving!