Eggplant Parmesan (version XLI)

Eggplant Parmigiana

Tomato Sauce
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1-14.5 ounce can tomatoes cut up
1/3 cup tomato paste
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 medium eggplant, peeled, cut crosswise in 1/2-inch slices
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup (1 1/2 ounces) grated parmesan cheese
1 package (6 ounces) mozzarella cheese

Preparation time: 30 minutes Cooking time: 35 minutes

1. For the sauce, heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, celery and garlic; cook until tender. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, parsley, salt, black pepper, oregano and bay leaf.

2. Simmer, uncovered, until thickened, about 15 minutes.

3. Remove bay leaf and set tomato sauce aside.

4. For eggplant, mix flour and salt. Dip eggplant slices in egg, then in seasoned flour. Shake off extra flour.

5. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook eggplant slices 3 minutes on each side, adding more oil if necessary. Drain slices well on paper towel.

6. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Place half of the eggplant slices in single layer in 10- by 6- by 2-inch baking dish or 9- by 9-inch pan, cutting slices to fit. Sprinkle with half of the Parmesan cheese. Shred half of the mozzarella cheese; sprinkle over eggplant. Repeat layering with remaining eggplant and Parmesan. Cut remaining mozzarella into triangles; place on top of eggplant. Bake, uncovered, 15 to 20 minutes or until hot.

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