Eggplant Parmesan

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Ingredients :

  • 2-globe eggplants (2lbs) sliced into 1/4-inch think rounds
  • 1-cup all-purpose flour
  • 3-large eggs
  • 2-cups plain dried breadcrumbs
  • 3-oz Romano Cheese, grated (1 1/2-cups) or Parmesan
  • 6-tbsp vegetable oil
  • 4-cups tomato sauce, pureed smooth
  • 8-oz or more mozzarella cheese, shredded (2-3 cups)
  • 10-fresh basil leaves, torn (optional)
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Directions :

In 2 batches, toss the eggplant with 1-tsp salt and let it drain in a colander for about 45 minutes
Meanwhile, adjust 2 oven racks to the upper and lower middle positions
Place a rimmed baking sheet on each rack and heat oven to 425*F
Combine the flour and 1-tsp pepper in a large zipper lock bag
Shake to combine
Beat the eggs into a shallow dish
Combine the breadcrumbs, 1-cup of Romano, 1/4-tsp salt and 1/2-tsp pepper in a second shallow dish
Spread the drained eggplant over paper towels
Wipe away as much salt as possible
Press each slice firmly to remove as much liquid as possible
Work with 8 slices of eggplant at a time
Place the 8 slices in the bag with the flour, seal and shake to coat
Remove the eggplant and shake off excess flour
Dip into the eggs
Remove from eggs and allow excess to drip off
Coat evenly with breadcrumbs, pressing them on to stick
Lay the coated slices on a wire rack and coat the remaining slices in the same manner
Remove the preheated baking sheets from the oven
Pour 3-tbsp of oil over each baking sheet, tilting to coat
Place the eggplant in a single layer over the hot baking sheets
Bake for about 20 minutes, until the first side is well browned and crisp
Flip the slices over and switch the baking sheet positions
Continue for another 10 minutes or until browned
Leave oven on
Spread 1-cup of the tomato sauce over the bottom of a 9×13″ baking dish
Shingle half of the eggplant slices over the sauce
Spoon 1 more cup of sauce over the slices
Sprinkle with half of the mozzarella
Shingle the remaining eggplant in the dish and dot with another cup of sauce leaving the majority of the slices exposed to remain crisp
Sprinkle with 1/4-cup of Romano and the remaining 1-cup of mozzarella
Place the dish on the lower middle rack of the oven
Bake until the cheese is bubbling and well browned, about 15 minutes
Sprinkle with basil over top if using
Let cool 10 minutes before serving
Serve the remaining 1-cup tomato sauce and 1/4-cup Romano with each serving

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