Eggplant Parmigiana

One of TM's favorite meals is eggplant parmigiana, so I finally agreed to make it the other night.  My memory of it is that it is a lot of work, but then when I make it, I am reminded that it is actually fairly simple... at least the way I have worked out this version.  It really is quite tasty, so I thought I'd share it.  This recipe makes two 9x13 pans.  You could halve it if you only wanted one, but I would go ahead and make two and freeze the other.  It's not really anymore work and you'll have an entree in the freezer.  (For freezing, line a 9x13 with heavy-duty foil, with quite a bit hanging over the edges.  Make the entree as directed inside the foil, but instead of baking when done, cover lightly with plastic wrap and put into the freezer.  When it is completely frozen, lift it out of the pan, wrap in several more layers of foil and LABEL!  I also include cooking instructions on the label.  When you're ready to eat it, unwrap the outside layers of foil, drop it into the 9x13, thaw and bake as directed.  Easy!)

Eggplant Parmigiana (serves 12)

4 small to medium eggplant
Bread crumbs (I use panko, found in the Asian food section, but you can use regular ones as well)
Canola non-stick spray
at least 4 garlic cloves, chopped
18 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded
3 jars marinara sauce (72 oz)
grated Parmesan cheese

Preparing the eggplant:  Instead of frying the eggplant (which does taste good, but is messy, time consuming, and not so healthful), I bake them.  Slice the eggplant into slices.  My slices are usually about 1/4 inch thick.  Lightly coat in bread crumbs.  Since I don't dip in egg first, 'lightly' is all that can be done.  Lay the crumbed sliced on a baking sheet sprayed with the non-stick spray.  When you have all the eggplant done, spray the tops of the slices with more non-stick spray.  Bake at 375 for ~30 minutes.  Remove from oven.

Assembling the Parmigiana:  Spray two 9x13 pans and then begin layering your ingredients in this order:
  • Eggplant
  • Garlic (I am very liberal with the garlic, especially since I use the pre-minced stuff out of a jar)
  • Cheese
  • Sauce
Repeat this order one more time and then top with the grated Parmesan.  Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.  I usually let it rest for a few minutes before serving.


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