· 2 medium eggplants
· 2 cups Italian bread crumbs
· 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
· 5 eggs
· 1/2 cup all purpose flour
· Fresh cracked black pepper
· 2 tbsp olive oil
· 1 Vidalia onion
· 2 medium carrot
· 5-6 garlic cloves
· 28 oz can crushed tomatoes (or diced)
· 8 oz can tomato sauce
· 1 tsp dried oregano
· 2 tbsp fresh minced basil
· 1 1/2 tsp salt
· 2 tsp white granulated sugar
· 3 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
· 1/2 tsp dried oregano
· 1/2 tbsp dried parsley
· fresh basil optional
Start with the sauce:
1. Preheat a cooking pot over medium heat and add olive oil.
2. Add chopped onion, carrots, and garlic cloves. Saute vegetables for a few minutes and then add crushed (or diced) tomatoes, tomato sauce, seasoning, and herbs.
3. Lower the heat to low, cover with a lid, and let it all cook while preparing and baking the eggplant.
Prepare the eggplant:
1. Preheat oven to 425° and line two large baking sheets with aluminum foil. Spray some oil spray over each covered baking sheet to grease it.
2. Slice eggplant into thin slices that are about to 1/3 inch thick. (It’s not a typo, I found that 1/2 inch thickness is just a little too thick.)
3. Prepare three wide bowls to bread the eggplant. Whisk flour with some salt and pepper in one bowl. In another bowl, whisk together eggs with some salt, and pepper. In the last bowl, whisk together Italian bread crumbs, grated Parmesan cheese, with some salt, and pepper. Don't use too much salt and pepper, just enough to enhance flavor.
4. Dip each eggplant slice into flour mixture first to lightly coat it with flour and then, dip it into egg mixture, and finally into bread crumbs. Gently pat the bread crumb mixture onto the slice of eggplant and place it on the prepared baking sheet.
5. Bread all eggplant slices and place them in one even layer on the baking sheet.
6. Bake breaded eggplant slices at 425° for about 20 minutes.
Prepare Eggplant Parmesan:
1. Set the oven heat to 350°.
2. To blend the sauce, you can use an immersion blender or transfer it into a standing blender. Pulse until the sauce is smooth.
3. Spread a third of the sauce all over the bottom of a 9×13 casserole dish and layer half of the baked eggplant slices snugly, even overlapping a little. Spread another third of the sauce over the eggplants and generously sprinkle with shredded Mozzarella cheese.
4. Layer remaining eggplant slices and top them off with remaining sauce and cheese. Sprinkle some oregano and parsley flakes on top and bake at 350° for about 25 minutes.