This is my new favorite way to make eggplant parmesan. Delicious homemade comfort food made with fresh ingredients for a healthy and savory meal Italian dish.
This particular recipe is from Claire Saffitz, BonAppetit.com. There are several short and long versions of eggplant parmesan recipes. This one is a long version and well worth the time.
You know when a recipe is good when you read the list of ingredients. Starting with olive oil, and combining fresh garlic, onion, white wine, basil, oregano with tomatoes is definitely the perfect match for a good marinara sauce. But wait! Adding Anchovies fillet and Noubess Hot and Spicy Mango sauce will make this recipe an all-time winner at the dinner table.
The start of any eggplant recipe
Eggplant is one of those types of vegetables that are best served with good homemade tomato sauce. Layers of eggplant slices with fresh cheese and the right combination of spices is the right combination for the perfect side dish or a full meal. The bolder the taste of the other ingredients, the better the recipe will be as it will satisfy your craving for parmesan parm.
In Haiti in particular, eggplant is mostly enjoyed in vegetable stews or meat stews. And again, the presence of tomatoes is never forgotten. The acidity of the tomatoes, whether in canned or fresh is one of the main ingredients that will elevate the taste of eggplant.
The best way to create the perfect meal is to always have all your ingredients ready. Same as in all cuisines, Italian cuisine requires perfection and the love of food.
The best method for a winning Eggplant Parmesan recipe
A good method always includes a few steps to ensure a successful meal.
- The first step is starting with a homemade sauce.
- The second is to remove the excess liquid from the eggplant slices.
- The third step is to bake or fry the eggplant slices. Whatever option you choose, make sure you do not thoroughly cook the slices.
- The fourth step is to use good and fresh ingredients. It is that simple!
When we say good and fresh ingredients we mean the following:
- Canned tomatoes (a good brand)
- Tomato paste (a good brand)
- Fresh basil
- Fresh parsley
- Dry white wine – a good wine you would drink
- Freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Mozzarella Cheese – fresh or packaged cheese that melts fairly quickly
The secrets from the author
- Use a baking sheet to draw out the water from the eggplant slices.
- Use a rectangular baking dish, like a 9 x 13.
- Put a little sauce on the bottom first, then a layer of eggplant, then freshly grated mozzarella cheese and a little grated Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers.
- For the top layer make sure to add enough mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese.
- Bake at 375˚ for about 45 minutes. Broil the top for a minute or two to get the cheese bubbly and golden if necessary.
- Do not serve the dish right away. It is best to wait until it is barely warm so all the ingredients can set perfectly.
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 head of garlic cloves crushed
- 1 large red onion chopped
- 3 oil-packed anchovy fillets optional
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes or 1 teaspoon of Noubess Hot and Spicy Mango Sauce
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- ¼ cup dry white wine
- 2 28- ounce cans whole peeled tomatoes
- ¼ cup torn basil leaves
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- Kosher salt
Eggplant and Assembly
- 4 pounds Italian eggplants about 4 medium, peeled, sliced lengthwise ½–¾ inch thick
- Kosher salt
- 3 cups panko Japanese breadcrumbs
- 1½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1½ cups finely grated Parmesan divided
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 5 large eggs beaten to blend
- 1⅓ cups olive oil
- ½ cup finely chopped basil and parsley plus basil leaves for serving
- 6 ounces low-moisture mozzarella grated (about 1⅓ cups)
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella thinly sliced
- Preheat oven to 350°. Heat the oil in a large heavy ovenproof pot over medium. Cook garlic, stirring often, until golden, about 4 minutes. Add onion, anchovies (if using), and red pepper flakes (or Noubess Hot and Spicy Mango Sauce) and cook, stirring often, until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomato paste and cook, stirring often, until slightly darkened, about 2 minutes. Add wine, bring to a boil, and cook until almost completely evaporated about 1 minute. Add tomatoes, breaking up with your hands, and their juices; add basil and oregano and stir to combine. Swirl 1½ cups water into one tomato can, then the other, to rinse, and add to pot; season with salt. Transfer pot to oven; roast sauce, stirring halfway through, until thick and tomatoes are browned on top and around edges of pot, 2–2½ hours.
- Let sauce cool slightly. Pass through the large holes of a food mill or process in a food processor until mostly smooth. Taste and season with salt.
Eggplant and Assembly
- Lightly season eggplant slices all over with salt; place in a single layer on several layers of paper towels inside a rimmed baking sheet. Top with another layer of paper towels and more slices; repeat as needed. Top with a final layer of paper towels, then another rimmed baking sheet; weigh down with a heavy pot. Let eggplant sit until it has released excess liquid, 45–60 minutes. This step gives the eggplant a creamy texture when baked.
- Meanwhile, pulse panko, oregano, pepper, and ¾ cup Parmesan in a food processor until very finely ground. Transfer to a shallow bowl.
- Preheat oven to 350°. Place flour in another shallow bowl and eggs in a third shallow bowl. Working one at a time, dredge eggplant slices in flour, then dip in egg, allowing excess to drip off. Coat in breadcrumbs, packing all around, then shaking off excess. Place on wire racks.
- Heat ⅔ cup oil in a large skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium-high. Cook as many eggplant slices as will comfortably fit in the pan, turning once, until deep golden, about 5 minutes. Transfer to paper towels and immediately press with more paper towel to absorb oil. Working in batches, repeat with remaining slices, adding remaining ⅔ cup oil and wiping out skillet as needed. Let cool. Taste and season with more salt if needed. (season with Noubess Garlic and Herb Seasoning if preferred)
- Toss chopped herbs, low-moisture mozzarella, and remaining ¾ cup Parmesan in a medium bowl. Spread 1 cup sauce over the bottom of a 13×9″ baking pan; top with a layer of eggplant slices (trim as needed). Drizzle 1 cup sauce over and sprinkle with one-third of cheese mixture. Add another layer of eggplant, followed by 1 cup sauce and half of remaining cheese mixture. Repeat layers with remaining slices, sauce, and cheese mixture. Cover with foil and bake on a rimmed baking sheet until eggplant is custardy, 45–60 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and arrange fresh mozzarella over the eggplant slices. Increase the oven temperature to 425° and bake, uncovered, until cheese is bubbling and browned in spots, 15–20 minutes longer. Let rest 30 minutes. Top with basil leaves just before slicing.