I see you rolling your eyes more than there. “Kate, all eggplant Parmesans are Italian!” Allow me clarify. In Italy, correct eggplant Parmesan (Melanzane alla Parmigiana) is breading-totally free. Apparently, we Americans made a decision to coat our eggplant in egg wash and breading.
Another shocker? Italians don’t pour any cream into their fettuccine Alfredo! Let’s now turn to give a collective eye roll at Olive Garden.
The eggplant Parmesans I’ve ordered over the many years at dining establishments have varied significantly, but I’ve grown to expect hefty, greasy, breaded eggplant served with marinara and normal-problem spaghetti. I typically stroll out with a stomachache and a side of regret.
Then I ordered the eggplant Parmesan at a local restaurant here in Kansas City known as Ragazza, which gave me hope for eggplant Parm. Their eggplant Parmesan comes in a cute little cast iron skillet, with layers of eggplant cut lengthwise and sliced like lasagna. It contains lightly breaded eggplant, but it isn’t overtly greasy, and the marinara sauce tastes like it’s been simmering on the stove for hrs.
It’s the owner’s mother’s recipe, and I have to order it every time I eat there. Their eggplant Parmesan inspired the eggplant lasagna in my cookbook, which contains extended strips of roasted eggplant layered amongst the noodles and marinara. Have you had the possibility to consider that one? So good!
Because it’s eggplant season, I set out to create a homemade eggplant Parmesan recipe that I could get really fired up about. I based mostly my recipe on the lasagna recipe in the book, while maintaining Ragazza’s recipe in mind. I knew I needed to roast the eggplant rather than fry it—pans full of simmering oil scare me, and fried eggplant tastes a lot more like oil than eggplant.
Eggplant notoriously absorbs oil like a sponge, which is why you’ll want to brush oil onto the eggplant rather than drizzling it on. Just be confident to use fresh eggplant, because there’s no conserving mushy, bruised eggplant.
When I was working on my recipe, I received hung up on the breading component. I don’t enjoy dipping my fingers into raw eggs, and it’s difficult to find entire grain breadcrumbs. Plus, the breading in eggplant Parmesan inevitably gets coated in marinara and ends up soggy. What is the level of breading if it’s all soggy?
That’s when I dove into the historical past of eggplant Parmesan and discovered that Italians don’t actually bread their eggplant. Eureka! I eliminated the breading element and landed on an eggplant Parmesan that I really enjoy. I comprehend that some could vehemently disagree with me on the breading front, but let’s just agree to disagree.
Removing the breading also makes this eggplant Parmesan gluten free of charge. This eggplant Parmesan is lighter than most, and the eggplant taste actually shines by means of. It may possibly appear super cheesy (ok, it is cheesy) but most of the cheese is on leading of the dish so it can build that irresistible golden crust. Golden cheese gives the most taste.
I made a fast homemade marinara, so this homemade eggplant Parmesan is produced totally from scratch. Tomato paste and fire-roasted tomatoes (if obtainable) make it taste like it’s been simmering on the stove for hours. If you’re in a time crunch or looking to simplify, however, you can definitely use your favored jarred marinara.
Prior to you head to the grocery shop, right here are some suggestions on choosing wonderful eggplant. Be certain to choose eggplants that are smooth and shiny, with no dents or mushy elements. They must come to feel heavy for their dimension. If possible, decide on eggplants that are on the smaller side. Massive eggplants tend to contain a lot more seeds, which can create a bothersome texture in this recipe. Then, be confident to turn that eggplant into eggplant Parm promptly, because overripe eggplant tastes much more bitter.
Please let me know how this turns out for you in the remarks. If you have added eggplant, verify out my favored baba ganoush and spicy roasted ratatouille with spaghetti. For a lot more comforting casserole dishes, try my spinach artichoke lasagna and lentil baked ziti.