Eggplant Parmigiana

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 2 hr 30 min
  • Prep: 40 min
  • Inactive: 20 min
  • Cook: 1 hr 30 min
  • Yield: 8 to 10 servings
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Ingredients

3 cups unseasoned dry bread crumbs

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon dried parsley

2 cups all-purpose flour

14 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 1/4 cups (4 ounces) finely grated Pecorino Romano

3 medium eggplant, peeled and sliced lengthwise 1/4-inch thick

Light olive oil, for frying

6 cups Eleanora's Marinara Sauce, recipe follows

2 teaspoons dried oregano

4 cups (16 ounces) shredded aged mozzarella cheese

Eleanora's Marinara Sauce:

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 large onion finely diced

1 tablespoon minced garlic (2 medium cloves)

3 (28-ounce) cans peeled whole tomatoes, pureed and strained

3 ounces tomato paste

Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves

Directions

  1. Place rack in center of oven. Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Line a second baking sheet with paper towels. Set aside.
  2. Combine bread crumbs, basil, and parsley in a shallow dish. Place flour into a second shallow dish. Whisk together the eggs and 1 cup Pecorino Romano cheese. Pour egg mixture into a third larger shallow dish. Dip sliced eggplant in flour, shaking off any excess. Dip floured eggplant in egg mixture to coat both sides. Dip eggplant in seasoned bread crumbs to lightly coat both sides. Transfer to parchment-lined baking sheet. Set aside.
  3. Heat 1/4-inch olive oil in a large straight-sided skillet over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Fry eggplant in batches until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to the baking sheet lined with paper towels. If excess breading burns in oil, or oil begins to burn, discard oil and begin again with fresh oil.
  4. In a 4-quart shallow baking dish, spread 1 cup marinara sauce evenly over bottom. Layer eggplant slices to cover the top of sauce. Spread 1 1/4 cups sauce evenly over eggplant. Sprinkle with 1 heaping teaspoon Pecorino Romano, 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano and 1/3 cup shredded aged mozzarella. Repeat procedure 3 times, omitting mozzarella on top of final layer.
  5. Cover baking dish, and bake until bubbling slightly, about 30 minutes. Uncover, and sprinkle with remaining shredded mozzarella. Bake until just melted. Let cool 20 minutes before serving.

Eleanora's Marinara Sauce:

  1. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a medium saucepan. Add onion, season with salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook 2 minutes more.
  2. Add tomatoes, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer, season with salt and cook until thick, about 30 minutes. Stir in basil, and remove from heat.

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