Parmigiana describes a classic Southern Italian dish made with shallow fried eggplant slices layered with cheese and tomato sauce and baked in an oven. Although I am not a great fan of eggplant, but eggplant parmigiana is one of my favorites! Whenever we go out to eat Italian, my husband knows that I'll either order the Cheese filled ravioli (yummmy) or Eggplant Parmigiana. These 2 are my all time favorite!!
This time I decided to give Eggplant Parmigiana a try at home. Today when I got into the kitchen I saw I had one hour to prepare the dish before my husband comes home for lunch. It took me little more than an hour though but the end result was delicious and worth all the effort, so many messy utensils, cleaning up the kitchen later on! :)
Wherever I saw the Parmigiana recipe, it had asked to dip the eggplants in the egg mixture. Although we do eat eggs, I just didn't want to make the parmigiana that heavy! So I decided to give eggs a skip and instead I dipped the eggplant in Corn Starch mixed with Milk. It totally solved the purpose and we didn't feel any difference in the taste. Parmigiana was as tasty as you eat in restaurants! Today I couldn't help but praise myself for this awesome dish I prepared... LOL. Also I was out of spaghetti, so I served this along with Plain and Spinach Fettuccine tossed in Tomato Basil Sauce. It was a delicious complete meal.
So here is my Super Delicious Recipe ( Click here for the printable version)
1 Medium Eggplant ( Washed and sliced into 1/4 inch thick round slices)
All Purpose Flour- 3/4 Cup
Corn Starch- 3 Tbsp
Milk- 1/3 Cup
Bread Crumbs- 2 Cups (divided) (You can either use seasoned bread crumbs or use plain ones and season per ur taste)
Tomato Basil or Marinara Sauce- 24 ounces ( I used the store bought Tomato Basil and adjusted the spices per taste while heating. I added some oregano, dried basil, red crushed pepper, salt)
Shredded Mozzarella Cheese- 4 ounces
Shredded Parmesan Cheese- 4 ounces
Few Fresh Basil Leaves
Salt- To Taste
Red Crushed Pepper - To Taste
Oil- To Shallow Fry Eggplant slices
1. Take the eggplant slices and sprinkle some salt on both sides of each slice and keep them aside for 15-20 minutes. Eggplant will start to leave some moisture.
2. Meanwhile take All purpose flour, Corn Starch dissolved in Milk and Bread Crumbs in three separate bowls/dishes.
3. You can add some seasoning like Salt, Red Crushed Pepper to the Corn Starch Mixture and also adjust seasoning of bread crumbs per your taste.
4. Also heat some oil in a shallow pan.
5. Take eggplant slice one by one and first remove some extra salt and moisture from it using paper towel. Now coat the slice with All purpose flour, then dip it into the cornstarch mixture and coat with bread crumbs. Fry the slices into hot oil until golden brown from both sides. Keep them on paper towel to remove excess oil. Repeat until all the slices are fried.
6. Pre-heat oven to 350 degree F.
7. Now get a rectangular baking sheet and start the layering by adding tomato basil/marinara sauce to the bottom of the pan, then the eggplant slices, some bread crumbs, fresh basil leaves, more sauce, Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese, and continue to layer in the same order until all the eggplant slices have been used. Top off with Sauce, Mozzarella and Parmesan.
8. Place the dish covered with aluminum foil in the pre-heated oven and cook for 25 minutes and then cook uncovered for 8-10 minutes.
9. While eggplant is baking, boil your favorite paste per instruction on the box. Drain and toss 1 Tsp of Olive oil into the pasta.
Serve with your favorite paste sauce along with this delicious Eggplant Parmigiana garnished with fresh Basil leaves.......