Welcome Spring with this savory Eggplant Parmesan with Fabio's Special Tomato Sauce. You remember Fabio, right? He taught me what I know about Italian cooking. As my culinary professor in Florence, he made feast after delicious feast out of traditional, simple, no-frills recipes handed down straight from his Venetian granny.
One of the best recipes he shared was this savory tomato sauce - it's the real Italian flavor your mouth is watering for!
Ingredients for sauce:
Tomato paste (we used 2 cans of Cento brand paste, but you can splurge for the pretty paste tubes if you'd like)
Ingredients for Eggplant Parm:
1 large eggplant
Italian bread crumbs
Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese... I'll leave the quantity up to you. We used... a ton!
You will not believe how easy this is.
First, heat a couple tablespoons of EVOO in a sauce pan. Next, add tomato paste - you want it to melt in the oil. Add water as needed (about a cup or so?) to thin the sauce. Don't forget plenty of salt as pure tomato paste like this is super-concentrated and in dire need of seasoning.
That's it! Here's what it looks like when you're done:
Ahhh. Now, let's get to the Parmesan. Prepare a 9x13 baking dish with sauce spread across the bottom (use more than I did in the below picture for better results). Slice the eggplant into thin round slices and set aside. Then prepare two other dishes, one with a couple of eggs whisked thoroughly and the other with Italian bread crumbs. This will be your little eggplant parm assembly line:
Take those eggplant slices through assembly and place in your sauced baking dish. Cover the slices with another round of sauce and plenty of mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.
Oh - to round out my meal, I made this easy (but really pretty!) side of roasted red onions and asparagus. Season with EVOO, S&P and dried basil. Bake at 400 for about 15-20 minutes.
Bake your eggplant parm at 350 for about 30 minutes. Keep your eyes peeled for golden bubbly cheese and then you're all set.
Serve and enjoy!
Obviously, we can't live without ice cream, so Hubby made some delicious handmade vanilla with our favorite toy: the ice cream maker.
This recipe also makes fantastic leftovers!
The best part is... you don't even need to feel guilty about this delicious "splurge." After all, eggplant is a healthy veggie and we've baked it instead of traditional frying.