Eggplant Parmesan is a delicious dish that utilizes two of our favorite nightshades–breaded and fried eggplants and tomatoes in a delicious marinara sauce. While we’re all familiar with the usual traditional way of preparing it, that is, simply breaded, fried, and then swimming in tomato sauce, there is actually a multitude of ways you could make this particular dish. Ranging from familiar to reconstructed, this delicious meal can be made in however many ways you dream it to be.
Before we dive into the recipes, here are a few tidbits of advice: Eggplant often holds a lot of water, so salting it after slicing is a good way to pull some of the moisture out and prevent the breading from being too soggy. In order to make sure your breading doesn’t slide off in the oil, dredging it in cornstarch and then an egg wash before breading will ensure that the outer layer remains firmly attached to the eggplant.
1. Traditional Eggplant Parmesan over Linguine Pasta with Homemade Marinara Sauce
Everyone loves traditional eggplant Parmesan! The way your very Italian grandma made it! There’s nothing better than homemade marinara sauce.
– 4 cups crushed tomatoes
– 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
– 1/2 cup sweet white onion, diced
– 4 cloves garlic, minced
– 1 tablespoon fresh shredded basil
– Pinch of oregano
– Pinch of thyme
– 1 large eggplant
– 1 egg, lightly beaten
– 1 cup breadcrumbs
– Corn starch, for dredging
– Mozzarella slices
– Parmesan Cheese
– Vegetable oil, for frying
1. On a stove over medium-high heat, caramelize onions and garlic in olive oil. Add crushed tomatoes and keep at a simmer until reduced to about 2/3rds the original volume. Add basil, oregano, thyme, and salt and pepper to taste.
2. Prepare linguine according to the package.
3. Slice eggplant into 1/2 inch thick slices. Place onto sheets of paper towels. Sprinkle with salt and allow to sit for 20 minutes. Pat away excess moisture that is pulled out.
4. Heat oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Lightly dust the eggplant with cornstarch, dip in egg wash, then in breading and fry until golden brown and crispy.
5. Lay in a single layer in a casserole dish, place a dollop of marinara sauce over each slice, then layer mozzarella slices over it and sprinkle shredded parmesan cheese. Broil on high until mozzarella is melted (about 6 minutes), and serve over linguine pasta.