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Eggplant Parmesan is one of my favourite dishes to eat, but not one of my favourites to prepare.
On top of there being too many steps, battering and frying foods is not my favourite thing to do.
So, when I enjoyed an appetizer version of Eggplant Parmesan in Italy recently, I thought about ways to simplify this tasty dish.
The following version has very few breadcrumbs and is simply layers of roasted eggplant, tomato sauce and cheese layered in a deep-dish pie plate.
A layer of eggs in the middle helps bind it all together.
While the dish doesn’t have the fried breadcrumb component of the original recipe, it has all the wonderful favours of this classic dish.
Use your favourite store-bought pasta sauce to save time and this dish will go together quickly.
Add a big tossed salad on the side and it’s a great weeknight meal.
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Eggplant Parmesan Pie
extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup (50 ml) breadcrumbs
2 medium eggplants, cut into ½-inch (1.25-cm) slices
extra virgin olive oil for brushing
3 cups (750 ml) of tomato pasta sauce
1/3 cup (75 ml) grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp. (25 ml) chopped fresh basil
¾ lb. (375 g) grated mozzarella cheese
Brush 9-inch (23-cm) deep dish pie plate with olive oil. Add bread crumbs and tip so breadcrumbs cover entire surface. Set aside.
Place eggplant slices on two heavily oiled baking pans. Brush top of eggplant slices with more oil. Season very lightly with salt and pepper.
Roast in preheated 425 F (220 C) oven until golden, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. (You can also cook on outdoor grill.)
Place layer of eggplant on bottom of prepared pie plate, overlapping as necessary.
Spoon 1 cup (250 ml) of pasta sauce over top, followed by half of cheese.
Beat eggs together in small bowl along with rest of cheese and the basil. Pour eggs over top of cheese layer.
Repeat with remaining eggplant, 1 cup (250 ml) of pasta sauce and cheese.
Bake in 350 F (180 C) oven 30 to 35 minutes until cheese is melted and dish is bubbling around edges.
Let rest at least 10 to 15 minutes before serving with remaining sauce.
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