This eggplant parm is baked instead of fried, for a lighter casserole. But layered with saucy tomatoes and fresh mozzarella, it’s still fully loaded with gooey nostalgia.
What You Get
Fresh mozzarella cheese
Panko bread crumbs
Grated Parmesan cheese
What You’ll Need
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Chile flakes (optional)
Makes 4 servings
Active Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Grease a square baking dish (9 x 9 inches) with olive oil.
Cut the eggplant into thick rounds (about ½-inch thick) and season with salt on both sides. Mince 1 or 2 cloves of garlic. Pick the basil leaves and toss the stems. Drain and slice the mozzarella. In a small bowl, stir together ½ cup of the panko, ¼ cup of the Parmesan, and 1 tablespoon olive oil.
In a large cast-iron or nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat, warm ¼ cup olive oil. Working in batches if necessary, fry the eggplant until browned on both sides, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer the eggplant to the prepared pan. Cover with 1½ cups of the crushed tomatoes and scatter with the garlic and basil, and chile flakes to taste. Top with the mozzarella and season with salt. Sprinkle with the panko mixture. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake until golden and bubbly, 15 to 20 minutes.
Just before serving, reheat the pasta in the microwave until warmed through, 1 to 2 minutes.
Heap the pasta on plates, and scoop the eggplant parmesan on the side. Drizzle lightly with olive oil, grind with pepper, and serve warm.