This Italian Dish Might be Even Better Than Pasta

Eggplant parmesan
Image by Roberto DB from Pixabay

Italians may be famous for their pizza and pasta, but there are a variety of dishes from the European country that go lighter on the carbs. One of them is parmigiana di melanzane, which is just the fancier Italian way of saying eggplant parmesan. Think lasagna, but with aubergine instead of pasta.

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium eggplants
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 cup Italian-style bread crumbs
  • 2 cups marinara sauce
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella sliced
  • ½ cup freshly-grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper

Instructions:

  1. Slice the eggplant into ¼-inch rounds and lay them out in a single layer on a paper towel-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and leave for 1 hour to release moisture.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400° F. Lightly grease 1-2 large baking sheets.
  3. Set up 3 shallow dishes for dredging. In the first dish, stir together flour, salt, and pepper. In the second dish, whisk the eggs. In the third dish, stir together the panko bread crumbs, Italian bread crumbs, and garlic powder.
  4. Working one at a time, dredge the eggplant slices in the flour mixture, then dip them into the egg mixture, and then coat in the bread crumbs.
  5. Place the slices onto the prepared baking sheet in an even layer and sprinkle on a light coating of Parmesan cheese.
  6. Roast in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, flipping the eggplant slices halfway through.
  7. Spread 2 tablespoons of marinara sauce into the bottom of a lightly greased 9×13 dish.
  8. Layer half of the eggplant slices onto the bottom. Top with half of the remaining marinara, and then layer on all of the mozzarella slices.
  9. Sprinkle on half of the basil and half of the Parmesan cheese.
  10. Place the remaining eggplant slices on top and cover with the remaining marinara, basil, and Parmesan.
  11. Bake, uncovered, in the 400° oven for 20-25 minutes until the cheese is melted and the top is bubbling and lightly browned.