Baked Eggplant Parmesan
YIELD: 6 SERVINGS
PREP TIME: 30 MINUTES
COOK TIME: 1 HOUR, 30 MINUTES
TOTAL TIME: 2 HOURS
Made with roasted eggplant and a crunchy panko topping, this Baked Eggplant Parm has all the delicious comfort and crisp of the traditional version without the hassle and mess of battering and frying. Adapted from America's Test Kitchen Cooking for Two (2011) to accommodate six servings rather than two.
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 3 lbs eggplant (about 4 Japanese eggplants)
- (2) 28 oz cans crushed tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 5 teaspoons minced garlic (about 5 cloves), reserve 2 for topping
- 15 oz ricotta cheese
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup + 1/4 cup grated parmigiano
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- Preheat oven to 450 F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment and brush the parchment with olive oil.
- Cut the eggplant into ¼-inch slices and arrange in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt. Flip the slices over and repeat, so now both sides of the eggplant are oiled and salted. Roast until golden brown, about 30-40 minutes, flipping the eggplant halfway through. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and let cool while you prepare the remainder of the ingredients. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 F.
- In a saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil along with 3 teaspoons of the garlic over medium heat. Let cook until the garlic is fragrant and starting to toast. Add the tomatoes to the pan and bring the sauce to a simmer. Add the sugar. Simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat, then add the basil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover to keep warm.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the ricotta, 1 cup of parmigiano, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Assemble the Eggplant Parm: spread 1/2 cup of the tomato sauce on the bottom of a 9 by 13-inch baking dish, followed by half of the roasted eggplant, 1 cup more tomato sauce, half of the ricotta mixture and half of the mozzarella. Repeat: eggplant, sauce, ricotta, mozzarella.
- Cover the dish with foil and bake for 25 minutes, or until the filling is bubbling.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine 2 tablespoons olive oil, remaining 2 teaspoons garlic, 1/4 cup parmigiano and panko. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Once the filling is bubbling, take the casserole out of the oven, remove the foil and sprinkle the panko mixture evenly over the top. Continue baking, uncovered, until the topping is golden brown and crisp, about 20-25 more minutes. If the topping is not browning, drizzle a little olive oil over the top and place under the broiler (keep an eye on it, it'll brown quickly under there). Let cool 10 minutes before serving.
Make Ahead: This is a great dish to make ahead. Make everything through Step 5. Cover the assembled Eggplant Parm with plastic wrap and keep in the refrigerator up to two days before serving. I usually prep the panko topping as well and keep this in an airtight container in the fridge. When you're ready to bake the dish, bring it to room temperature and continue with Steps 6 and 7.
RECIPE SOURCE: LICKMYSPOON.COM