Eggplant Parmesan (version II)
2 medium unpeeled eggplants, sliced 1/2-inch thick
NOTE: I make my own, using 2 large cans crushed Italian tomatoes, 3 or 4 6-ounce cans Italian seasoned tomato paste, 1/2 tomato paste can of water [to get scrapings of paste from all cans], 1 whole bay leaf, Italian seasonings including basil, oregano, and black pepper. I simmer this several hours and frequently make it the day before because sauce is *always* better the second day.
2 slightly beaten eggs blended with a little milk
italian seasoned bread crumbs
oil, 1 part olive/1 part vegetable
1 clove mashed, peeled garlic
1 quart (liberal) of tomato sauce (see note)
freshly grated parmesan and romano cheese
1 ball low-fat mozzarella cheese, sliced very thin
Generously salt each slice of eggplant, piling the slices on top of each other in a deep bowl. **Put a weight on the pile!** This will remove bitter juices inherent to the eggplant itself. Let the eggplant stand about 30 minutes, draining the bowl at least two times. If the eggplant slices average about 3 inches in diameter, you might want to slice them in half. Dip slices in egg-milk mixture, then into bread crumbs. Coat bottom of heavy pan well, but not deep, with olive and vegetable oils. Heat with freshly mashed garlic. Brown coated eggplant till breading is done, and outside is golden. Drain on paper towels. Grease a 9x13 casserole dish, and place a layer of eggplant on the bottom. Next, sprinkle parmesan and romano cheese, then 1-1/2 to 2 cups tomato sauce. Top with mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers, ending with mozzarella cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or till cheese melts and is slightly browned.
Note: Leftover sauce can be used for pasta on the side, or kept frozen until another time.
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