The Secret Is Out: Marinara Sauce and Eggplant Parmesan

Eggplant parmesan is like pizza. Every restaurant makes it different, everyone at home has their own way of slicing, breading and frying (or non-frying) the eggplant.,AND… everyone has a different way of layering and serving, too. I, personally, love my way. In this recipe, I made my own marinara sauce but using your favorite jarred sauce is fine. I try to make as much as possible from scratch but that doesn’t mean you have to overachieve.

I’m here to show you the one and only way to make eggplant parmesan. Why is this the best way? Well… because I’ve cooked and eaten it every way under the sun and found this is BY FAR the most successful.

Here is the recipe with lots of notes and tips:

Eggplant Parmesan:
1 Large Eggplant sliced THIN
2 C Flour 
4-6 Eggs beaten
1 lb. Mozzarella Cheese deli/sliced
Marinara Sauce recipe below
Parmesan Cheese grated
Olive Oil for pan-frying
Fresh Basil chopped
Salt and Pepper
Garlic Powder optional

Marinara  sauce:
2 – 16 oz. cans crushed tomatoes
1 Large Onion chopped
8 Garlic Cloves chopped
1/3 C Olive Oil
1/2 C Fresh Parsley chopped
1/2 C Fresh Basil chopped
Salt and Pepper

First, the sauce. In a large pot, sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil until soft… about 10 minutes. Remember, do not burn the garlic, or the onion for that matter. Season with salt and pepper. Once the onions are soft, add the tomatoes. As if you were rinsing the cans out, use water to get all of the tomato out of the cans while adding about half of one can of water to the sauce.

Let the sauce simmer for at least a half hour. Add the fresh parsley and basil and simmer for another 30 minutes, or longer, on low heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Note: If the sauce is a little to acidic (bitter) for your liking, at a pinch of sugar.  

Now, the eggplant. Slice one end of the eggplant off and place it cut-side down on the cutting board for stability. Cut the eggplant in half the short way. Then with a very sharp knife, (Because you  need to cut through the skin of the eggplant) slice the eggplant into thin planks.  Stack them and set them aside.

Once the eggplant is sliced, lay each piece down and season with salt, pepper and garlic powder (optional). It’s important to season the eggplant before frying… so don’t forget this stage!

Set up your dredging station. In two separate bowls (or as shown below, square or circular foil pans) add the flour and beaten eggs. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil to medium temperature. Drop each slice of eggplant first in the FLOUR, then in the EGG. Yes, you heard me correctly… flour the egg, not the other way around. TRUST ME. Fry until golden brown. Let rest on a wire rack to avoid any sogginess and season with salt.

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Cover the bottom of a square casserole dish with one ladle of the marinara sauce. Layer with the eggplant, completely covering the bottom of the dish. Follow with a layer of mozzarella cheese slices and grated parmesan. Repeat this process until you run out of eggplant… finishing with mozzarella cheese. Note: You should get about 4-5 layers out of this recipe.  

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Bake uncovered at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes until the cheese is completely melted and slightly browned.

As I always say, let cool and stuff your face!



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Recipes include:
Sweet Potato Gnocchi
Clams Casino
Lemon Chicken
Stuffed Baby Eggplant
Tomato & Ginger Soup
And much more…

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