• Cheyenne Crennan

Homemade Eggplant Parmesan

Updated: Nov 2, 2019



A few weeks ago Matt and I had a date night. YUP. Date night. Dress up, wear make up, actually do hair, drank wine and ate expensive food, date night. I was so excited I had to drink a glass of wine before we left.



I have to say, we're very lucky and our parents are the most helpful grandparents and love to take the kids. The thing is, we ALWAYS have something to do at the house, or have someplace to go and it's not really about having a date night just for us. We went to one of our local really good Italian places, Mazzeo's, and I got their eggplant parmesan. Oh my gawd.



Matt thinks I'm super weird, but I love a pasta dish with marinara and Alfredo. Chicken Parmesan, spaghetti and meatballs, casseroles, and obviously had to try this dish the same way. Let me just tell you, it was worth the $2.00 extra I paid to add Alfredo sauce. The flavor combo of the acidy, slightly sweet, tomato sauce and the herbs, mixed with the creamy Alfredo sauce. I can't even deal. Naturally I had to go home and remake this my way so that I could eat it whenever I want and force my family to enjoy it with me. However, Matt wouldn't try it with Alfredo sauce, so I had to use some of the reserves in the refrigerator for my dinner, and make his with garlic and butter pasta. That was also so good that I had to remind myself, pasta is the enemy.



The entire prep is so easy, slice an eggplant up into 1/2 inch slices. Toss each slice in flour, egg wash, then Italian seasoned bread crumbs, and set aside. Heat up a large frying pan with olive oil. Set the battered eggplant slices into the hot oil, and brown on both sides. Set the finished eggplant slices onto a cutting board with paper towel laid across the top. This will help absorb some of the excess oil.



Turn your oven to 350 degrees and heat a large pot of water for the pasta. Salt the water and cook that to boxes instructions. Grease a baking dish to avoid anything from sticking or burning, spread a thin layer of marinara sauce across the bottom, layer the eggplant slices with sauce cheese and repeat for 2-3 stacks depending on how thick they are. Slide that into the oven and then just watch to see the cheese getting nice and melty.



If you like it browned on the top, change the oven setting to a LOW broil once the cheese on top is melted and watch very closely.



Toss your drained pasta with butter, marinara sauce or Alfredo. Nest it into a bowl then take a hot stack of eggplant and place it on top. Finish with some grated parmesan cheese, parsley. Enjoy with, of course, obviously, a glass of red. Duh. ;)


PSA: Also makes an amazing next day panini.



INGREDIENTS:


1 fresh, large eggplant

1 LB of pasta, any kind will do, I prefer spaghetti, linguine or fettuccine

jar of marinara sauce, or homemade

Italian blend shredded cheese

salt & pepper

dash of garlic powder

two whisked eggs (for egg wash)

small bowl of Italian bread crumbs

small bowl of flour


DIRECTIONS:


1. Start by slicing an eggplant into 1/2 inch slices

2. Season each side of eggplant with salt and pepper

3. Whisk two eggs in a small bowl for an egg wash.

4. Prepare a small bowl of Italian bread crumbs, and flour

5. Dunk eggplant into flour, egg wash then bread crumbs.

6. Set onto a cutting board

7. Repeat for all slices of eggplant

8. Fill a large pot of water on HIGH, once boiling, salt and add pasta. Stir occasionally.

9. Drizzle olive oil into a large frying pan, and turn onto medium heat

10. Place each eggplant slice into the oil for 2-3 minutes until lightly browned and flip, repeat for other side

11. Lay finished eggplant slices into a cutting board with a paper towel laid across the top to absorb any excess oil from frying.

12. Turn oven to 350 degrees, and grease a large baking dish and spread a layer of marinara sauce across the bottom.

13. Place across a first layer of eggplant slices, top with Mariana, then Italian blend cheese.

14. Add on another layer of eggplant, followed by sauce and cheese. Repeat for third layer if eggplant slices are thin

15. Place baking dish into oven and watch for the cheese to melt. 10-15 minutes.

16. Drain pasta. Toss with sauce of choice or butter, salt and garlic powder.

17. Even a browner cheese finish is desired, switch oven setting to BROIL and watch closely to avoid burning

18. Nest pasta in a large bowl or plate, top with a stack of finished Eggplant Parmesan.

19. Finish with Parmesan Cheese, and parsley



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