Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Delicious Eggplant Parmesan

I don't usually go through the hassle of preparing a weeknight dinner that requires several different types of cheese, but this dinner was very well worth it.  It didn't take a lot of effort to prepare, even though the ingredient list was a little lengthy.  

Not only did this recipe yield an amazing Eggplant Parmesan dish, but also, it provided me with a go-to ricotta filling for other Italian dishes, such as Lasagna, Baked Ziti and Stuffed Shells.  This filling is insanely flavorful so don't skimp on the ingredients!  And the addition of the freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese added depth to the overall dish.  I was in Heaven!


Ingredients:

Eggplant:
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon water
2 cups whole-wheat panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 (1-pound) eggplants, peeled and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
Cooking spray 

Filling:
1/2 cup torn fresh basil
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 (16-ounce) container part-skim ricotta cheese
1 large egg, lightly beaten 

Remaining ingredients:
1 (24-ounce) jar premium pasta sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 ounces thinly sliced mozzarella cheese
3/4 cup (3 ounces) finely grated fontina cheese 

Preparation 
1. Preheat oven to 375°

2. To make eggplant, combine 2 eggs and 1 tablespoon water in a shallow dish. Combine panko and 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano in a second shallow dish. Dip eggplant in egg mixture; dredge in panko mixture, pressing gently to adhere and shaking off excess. Place eggplant 1 inch apart on baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375° for 30 minutes or until golden, turning once and rotating baking sheets after 15 minutes. 


 3. To make filling, combine basil and next 6 ingredients (through egg). 



4. To assemble, spoon 1/2 cup pasta sauce in bottom of a 13 x 9-inch glass baking dish coated with cooking spray. Layer half of eggplant slices over pasta sauce. Sprinkle eggplant with 1/8 teaspoon salt. Top with about 3/4 cup pasta sauce; spread half of ricotta mixture over sauce, and top with a third of mozzarella and 1/4 cup fontina. Repeat layers once, ending with about 1 cup pasta sauce. Cover tightly with aluminum foil coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375° for 35 minutes. Remove foil; top with remaining third of mozzarella and 1/4 cup fontina. Bake at 375° for 10 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and cheese melts; cool 10 minutes.

All photos: my own
Cheers!
Ana 


1 comment:

  1. It looks really comforting and delicious.

    ReplyDelete