Eggplant and Zucchini Parmigiana

(2 votes)

3 tablespoons oil
2 cups chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 and 1/2 cups thinly sliced celery
1 and 1/2 pounds zucchini, cut in bite-site chunks
2 28 ounce cans whole tomatoes with puree or crushed tomatoes
1 6 ounce can tomato paste
1 teaspoon sugar
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste
2/3 tablespoon basil leaves
1 teaspoon oregano leaves
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 large eggplants
2 eggs, beaten using
4 tablespoons water
1 pound mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
dry bread crumbs
oil for frying

In large casserole dish heat the oil. Add onion, garlic, celery and zucchini and sauté until onion is tender. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, bay leaf, salt and pepper and simmer slowly, uncovered, until thick. Stir occasionally. Add basil, oregano and parsley and simmer 10 minutes longer.

Trim off stem ends and cut eggplant in slices about 1/2 thick. Dredge slices in flour, dip in beaten egg and coat with bread crumbs.

In large, heavy skillet heat about 3 tablespoons of the oil. Fry eggplant, a few slices at a time, until browned on both sides. Add more oil as necessary.

If you desire, you may brown the eggplant in an oven. Arrange slices on well greased baking sheets and bake at 350 degrees F. about 25 minutes or until browned on the bottom. Turn and bake until brown on the other side.

Spread a thin layer of tomato sauce in the bottom of 5 quart casserole. Cover with a layer of eggplant, tomato sauce and some of the mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Continue making layers but save enough of the cheese to end with a layer of mozzarella on each casserole that almost covers the top and a generous sprinkling of Parmesan.

Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Cover casserole and bake about 30 minutes. Uncover and bake about 20 minutes longer or until top is nicely browned and casserole is bubbling hot. Let stand about 10 minutes before serving.

Serves 8

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