For today’s Meat Free Monday Recipe I combined 2 different recipes I found for Eggplant Parmesan into one. I did this for 2 reasons, first I didn’t want to fry the eggplant, I wanted to bake it so that it would be healthier. And secondly I didn’t want to use a jarred tomato sauce I wanted to use fresh items as much as possible.
Personally I enjoyed this recipeâ€¦ the boys not so much. They wanted chicken parmesan and the eggplant wasn’t a good enough replacement for them. That said they loved the sauce, etcâ€¦ They just didn’t like the eggplant. I will make this recipe again â€“ I’ll just make it “personal sized”
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
- 2 (28-ounce) cans crushed organic tomatoes
- 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, hand torn
- 2 eggplants, peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 eggs, beaten (I used just egg whites)
- 3 cups Italian seasoned bread crumbs
- 1 (16 ounce) package mozzarella cheese
- Ricotta cheese (small container)
- Parmesan cheese
First make the sauce: Put a large saucepan over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute. Add the red pepper flakes, and let that cook for 2 minutes, stirring often. Toss in the tomatoes with their juices and bring to a low simmer. Stir in the basil and season with salt and pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Dip eggplant slices in egg, then in bread crumbs. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 8 minutes on each side (or until brown).
In a 9×13 inch baking dish spread tomato sauce to cover the bottom. Place a layer of eggplant slices in the sauce. Then add a layer of mozzarella and Ricotta cheese. Repeat with remaining ingredients, ending with the cheeses. Sprinkle a little Parmesan cheese on top.
Put the dish in the oven and bake for about 1 hour, until golden and bubbling. Let stand for about 20 minutes before cutting.