No need to go through the hassle of breading eggplant to get the same wonderful combination of flavors. In this recipe, the egg, parsley, Parmesan, and seasoned breading are treated separately. This makes a wonderful change that I think you’ll enjoy.
- 1/2 c extra virgin olive oil, divided use
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 medium bell pepper, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 c water
- 1 large globe eggplant, peeled and cut in 1/4 inch slices
- 6 eggs
- 1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup parsley or fresh spinach, finely chopped
- 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 – 26 oz jar of your favorite tomato pasta sauce
- 8 oz shredded mozzarella cheese (2 c)
- In a large skillet, heat 1 Tbsp of the olive oil and saute the onion and bell pepper until fragrant and soft. Sprinkle with a little salt and add 1 clove of garlic and continue sauteing another minute. Remove to a holding dish.
- Heat the water, 3 Tbsp of the oil, and 1 tsp salt until simmering. In two or three batches, simmer the eggplant until dark and tender. As each slice becomes tender, place it in a colander to drain. Add a little more water to the skillet if needed to complete cooking all slices.
- In a medium bowl, mix the eggs, bread crumbs, parsley, Parmesan, remaining garlic, and red pepper flakes thoroughly. Heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil (per batch) on medium low in the same (drained) skillet. In two batches, drop the egg mixture by heaping tablespoons into the skillet; allow room to spread and puff up. Turn after about 2-3 minutes, or when brown and set up. Brown the other side. Set the egg fritters aside on a cool plate.
- If cooking immediately, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. (This dish can be assembled, covered and refrigerated at this point. The cooking may take a few minutes longer if starting out cold.)
- In an 13 X 9 X 2 inch baking dish, spread about 1/2 c of the pasta sauce. Add all of the eggplant in a layer, overlapping as needed. Sprinkle the sauteed onion and bell pepper on top. Next, evenly distribute half of the mozzarella. Top with a layer of egg fritters. Spread all of the remaining pasta sauce evenly over the dish and finish with the remaining mozzarella. Bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes or until bubbly and the mozzarella is starting to brown. Using a sharp knife, cut in square slices and serve with a green salad.