It was a cold January week and I was craving something warm and hearty. A dish with a great marinara sauce sounded delightful, but the thought of meat was drowning my hopes. I’m not exactly sure why, but I’ve been craving vegetarian dishes more and more. Vegetables with marinara provide a lot of options, but eggplant parmesan was calling my name. I just couldn’t resist…
1 large eggplant
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbs italian seasoning
1/2 c red wine
28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
1/2 c flour
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 c breadcrumbs
1/2 c parmesan cheese, grated if using
12 ounces grated mozzarella cheese if using
The morning of slice eggplant into 1/2 inch slices. Lay on a baking sheet lined with paper towels and sprinkle with salt. Layer eggplant with salt and paper towels until all are covered. Place in refrigerator until ready to use.
In a large pot heat 1 tbs olive oil over medium high heat. Add onion, garlic and italian seasoning, cook until onions soften about 5 minutes. Add red wine to deglaze the pan, cook until liquid reduces by half. Add crushed tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Cook over low heat covered for 30 minutes. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Make an assembly row with flour in a plate, eggs in one bowl, breadcrumbs in a plate (in that order). Remove eggplant from frig and discard paper towels. Working one at a time dredge the eggplant slices first in the flour, then dip in the beaten eggs, and then dredge in the breadcrumbs. Meanwhile heat a large saute pan over medium high heat and add enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Add eggplant slices without crowding the pan and cook until golden brown on both sides, you will need to work in batches. Once cooked place on a paper towel lined plate until all are cooked.
Spread 1/4 c of the tomato sauce onto the bottom of a 8×8 inch dish. Place a third of the eggplant rounds in a single layer on top of the sauce. If not dairy free layer 1/3 of the mozzarella and parmesan on top of the eggplant. Repeat 3 times. Bake for 30 minutes or until thoroughly warmed. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving.