Eggplant Parmesan Extraordinaire!
Why is this recipe different? a) You bake the eggplant all at once instead of frying the slices individually, in hot oil. That means a lot less effort on your part and it will be at least a little healthier. b) We're going to use a little ricotta cheese which makes it almost lasagna-like, but not as heavy as a lasagna or casserole dish.
- 2 Lg. Eggplants, about 1 lbs. a piece
- 1 bag or 6 cups Mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 8 oz. (approx) Ricotta cheese, part skim
- 1 jar Spaghetti sauce, Prego
- 5 slices or 5 cups Bread crumbs, Hm made or store bought
- 2 cups Parmesan or Romano cheese, grated sprinkle cheese.
- 4 Eggs
- 3 Tbs Water
- Salt or garlic salt, to taste
- Pepper, to taste
- Pick two of the biggest eggplants you can find, a little soft. I make this recipe when they are on sale. My store just had them for $1 a piece. Good enough for me!
- Put 5 slices of good bread in food processor (or 5 cups store bought bread crumbs), set in a bowl and mix with about 2 cups grated Parmesan cheese, (not the fresh kind of cheese, the kind you sprinkle.)
- In separate bowl, put 4 eggs and 3 Tbs. water and mix well with fork.
- Wash and peel the eggplants, chop them into slices about 1/2 in thick or less.
- You'll need two pans to bake the eggplant individually, and I like to save on clean up so I cover a cookie sheet with tin foil and spray it with Pam and bake half the eggplant on the cookie sheet, then use the baking pan Im going to bake the whole dish in, spray it with Pam and reuse it when I put it all together. After, if you were careful, you can put the cookie sheet away without having to wash it, and bake the whole dish in the deeper pan, that way you'll only have to wash one pan at the end of the day. You can also re-use the tin foil from the cookie sheet to cover the main dish in while it cooks, but maybe I'm getting too thrifty now.
- Stir the eggs again, submerge a slice of the eggplant in the egg and then dredge it through the bread crumb mixture, covering both sides. Fill the pans with the eggplant.
- Bake at 375 for 20 min. then flip it and bake the other side for additional 20 min. until golden brown.
- Place all eggplant on cookie sheet and sprinkle a little olive oil at the bottom of the deeper pan. It should already be pretty well coated from the Pam, don't worry about the bread crumbs at the bottom. It's all good.
- Layer dish: Use half a jar of spaghetti sauce on the bottom of pan, doesn't need to fill the whole space. Spoon contents of smallest tub of ricotta cheese into the bottom of pan. (This doesn't need to be spread out evenly either, just spooned out evenly... it will disperse just fine on its own.) Layer largest eggplant on bottom, sprinkle 3 c. mozzarella cheese over first layer, repeat steps, making a second layer only no ricotta the 2nd time.
- Bake at 375 with tin foil loosely covering for 20 min. Take out of oven, sprinkle with salt, Parmesan cheese, and pepper. Bake for 5 more min. Let cool for 5 min. Serve with angle hair pasta or spaghetti.