...eggplant parmasen...

I made this recipe one Saturday a couple weeks ago when I knew I had time to make something just like this.  A recipe with a couple more steps than I can handle time wise on a weeknight.  Starting recipes around 6:30 really makes me more interested in 30 minute wonders, or well, the slow cooker.  Sounds nicer than saying "crock pot" don't you think? 

This recipe is yet another from Cooking Light, and their "Enlightened Cook" section. The first step in breading then baking your eggplants until their crispy (flipping once while cooking) is really the key to this recipe.  I also loved how I didn't think there was enough ricotta or tomato sauce, but it baked down to be the perfect consistency.  I'd make this again soon, if it weren't for the fact that we ate it for a whole week and I need a break...

Recipe thanks to Cooking Light

Ingredients You'll Need

  • Eggplant:
  • large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 cups whole-wheat panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • (1-pound) eggplants, peeled and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • Filling:
  • 1/2 cup torn fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • (16-ounce) container part-skim ricotta cheese
  • large egg, lightly beaten

  • Remaining ingredients:
  • (24-ounce) jar premium pasta sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces thinly sliced mozzarella cheese
  • 3/4 cup (3 ounces) finely grated fontina cheese

  • 1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  • 2. To make eggplant, combine 2 eggs and 1 tablespoon water in a shallow dish. Combine panko and 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano in a second shallow dish. Dip eggplant in egg mixture; dredge in panko mixture, pressing gently to adhere and shaking off excess. Place eggplant on baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375° for 30 minutes or until golden, turning once and rotating baking sheets halfway through.
  • 3. To make filling, combine basil and next 6 ingredients (through egg).
  • 4. To assemble, spoon 1/2 cup pasta sauce in bottom of a 13 x 9-inch glass baking dish coated with cooking spray. Layer half of eggplant slices over pasta sauce. Sprinkle eggplant with 1/8 teaspoon salt. Top with about 3/4 cup pasta sauce; spread half of ricotta mixture over sauce, and top with a third of mozzarella and 1/4 cup fontina. Repeat layers once, ending with about 1 cup pasta sauce. 
  • 5. Cover tightly with aluminum foil coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375° for 35 minutes. Remove foil; top with remaining third of mozzarella and 1/4 cup fontina. Bake at 375° for 10 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and cheese melts. 
Enjoy with your favorite beverage, a nice crisp romaine salad, and your best friends.

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