- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup dried Italian bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup cornmeal
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan, divided
- 2 eggplants
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley leaves, for garnish
In a large pot over medium-high heat, add the canola oil. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for 1 minute. Add the 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning, tomatoes and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bring to a simmer and let cook for 10 minutes. Reserve 1 1/2 cups of the sauce for the online round 2 recipe Eggplant and Pasta.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Set up a breading station using 3 baking dishes. In the first dish, add the flour and season with salt and pepper, to taste. In the second dish whisk the eggs with 1/2 cup water. In the third dish combine the bread crumbs, cornmeal, 2 tablespoons Parmesan and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Slice the eggplant into 3/4-inch slices. Dredge them in flour, then in the egg wash and then in the bread crumbs. Arrange the eggplant on 2 sheet trays fitted with a racks and bake in oven until crispy, about 20 to 25 minutes. Reserve 4 slices of eggplant for the online round 2 recipe, Eggplant and Pasta.
Turn the oven to broil. Put the eggplant, overlapping, into a baking dish in 2 rows. Cover each row with about a cup of sauce and sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese and remaining 2 tablespoons of Parmesan. Put under the broiler until the cheese is melted and bubbling, about 3 to 4 minutes. Garnish with parsley and serve.