My goal: An eggplant parmesan that’s full of flavor and cheese, but just a bit lightened up. The key is roasting, rather than frying, the eggplant, before layering it.

While you certainly can use store bought tomato sauce, I recommend taking the extra bit of time to do this simple tomato sauce- a slow and low cook develops lots of flavor. Finish this off with a combination of cheeses and a topping of pine nuts (Trust me on it). Perfect for leftovers too!

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Roasted Eggplant Parmesan

  • 3 small or 2 medium Italian or fairytale eggplants, just over 1 pound- 1 pound 2 ounces, sliced into 1/4’’ thick circles
  • 3 cups tomato sauce, see recipe below
  • 1 eight ounce ball mozzarella, sliced thinly
  • heaping 1/2 cup, (5 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup (2 ounces) shredded parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts

Tomato Sauce:

  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 14 ounce can whole tomatoes
  • 1 28 ounce can tomato puree

Directions for Tomato Sauce:

  • Heat a medium saucepot over low to medium heat. Add in olive oil, enough to generously coat bottom of pan.
  • Add in onions and saute until lightly browned, about 7 minutes. Add in salt, garlic and tomato paste and stir to coat onions in tomato paste. Saute until tomato paste is a dark brick red, about 2 minutes.
  • Add in tomato puree and whole tomatoes (including the juices). When adding in whole tomatoes, gently squish them so they break down- be careful- they will squirt out juice and ruin whatever you are wearing if you aren’t gentle. Trust me 🙂
  • Bring to a boil and then simmer for 30-35 minutes, until the tomato sauce is thick and flavorful.

Directions for Eggplant Parmesan:

  • Preheat oven to 425. Toss eggplant in oil and arrange on baking sheet in an even layer. Bake until golden brown at 425, about 15-20 minutes. Flip halfway through.
  • In a 9×9 inch baking pan, layer the eggplant, tomato sauce, and cheese in this order three times for 3 layers.
    1. Tomato sauce (~1 cup/layer)
    2. Eggplant (1/3 of the total amount/layer)
    3. Mozarella (1/3 of the sliced mozarella/layer)
    4. Repeat.
  • Top with shredded mozarella and parmesan on top, and lastly the pine nuts.
  • Cover and Bake at 375 for 30 minutes, until cheese has melted. Uncover and bake for 15 additional minutes until the cheese is slightly browned- you can broil for a minute or two at the end to help the cheese brown.
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