Bring. On. The. Bread.
I don’t know about you, but I’m in the market for some SERIOUS CARBS right now. I’m talking Pasta, Pizza, French Bread, Rye Bread, Bread Crumbs, Bread Pudding, or just good old fashioned White Bread…Southern style…with mayonnaise. Yeah, that’s how desperate I am for this stuff. It’s only been a week but not eating bread can really put a damper on my kitchen chaos. Because there’s only so much you can do with a piece of chicken every flippin’ night. So you won’t be seeing chicken from me tonight. The chaos that ensues from denying someone her fair share of carbs can be hazardous to one’s mental health. Who cares if you drop three pounds? It’s not worth it.
What is worth it is homemade Eggplant Parmesan drenched in bread crumbs. Not oil. I bake mine so before you get your panties in a bunch with your “is this a low-cal food blog?” comments, trust me– it’s just as delicious baked as fried and like a million less calories and fat. But back to the carbs. Eat it atop a mound of penne or slap this puppy on a warm and crusty piece of French bread for added effect. You’ll make up your calories there.
I don’t make Eggplant Parm too often because it’s a weeeee bit labor intensive and I make my own sauce so my kitchen looks like a tornado hit it. But alas, it’s time to rejoice! We can eat bread again. Buh, bye hard, crumbly stuff with holes that should have been a tortilla. See you next year! Que sera che mangiamo pane!
Baked Eggplant Parmesan
- One eggplant
- Kosher salt
- 2 eggs
- Olive oil
- Large can diced tomatoes with juice
- Container of low-fat ricotta cheese
- Bag of shredded mozzarella cheese (or fresh mozzarella that you shred yourself…yummmm)
- Can of tomato sauce (not jarred)
- Few garlic cloves (minced)
- Handful shredded carrots (*I always keep a bag of these in my fridge)
- Diced onion
- Splash of white or red wine
- Dried herbs (parsley, basil, oregano)
- Angel Hair Pasta (or French Bread if you are doing sandwiches)
- Peel and slice eggplant (lengthwise) as thin as you can without making wispy strips.
- Sprinkle with Kosher salt and put a heavy plate on top to drain the water out of it.
- Wait a few minutes and go check your email or eat a piece of bread.
- Beat the eggs in one bowl; pour hearty amount of breadcrumbs in another.
- Dip eggplant slices in egg, then in the breadcrumbs.
- Spray two cookie sheets with non-stick cooking spray.
- Lay each piece on the cookie sheets and drizzle with olive oil.
- Bake at 350 for appx. 20 minutes (flipping after 10 minutes.)
- While this is cooking, make the sauce (now you know why I don’t do this too often). But it’s worth it so keep going.
- Dice onion and garlic and heat with some olive oil in a large saucepan on medium (couple of swirls of oil).
- Add handful of shredded carrots and mix with a pinch of Kosher salt.
- Add splash of wine.
- Drink a splash of wine.
- Hear your kids whine.
- When onions are soft add can of diced tomatoes and can of sauce.
- Add a pinch of salt and few pinches of herbs.
- Mix well and reduce heat to simmer.
- Add water if your sauce is too thick, or another can of tomatoes if it is too thin.
- Under no circumstance should you add sugar. The carrots will sweeten the sauce the authentic way.
- Simmer for at least 20-30 minutes.
- Remove eggplant from oven.
- Pour a thin layer of your sauce on the bottom of a rectangular baking dish.
- Layer with eggplant.
- Top with Ricotta Cheese (spread over top).
- Add a thin layer of more sauce.
- Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella.
- Repeat until you’ve used up all of the eggplant and finish off with another sprinkle of cheese.
- Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until cheese bubbles.
- Boil pasta and cook al dente or heat bread to make sandwiches.
- Buon appetito!