Serves about 8-10. Check for footnote numbers
- Casserole Dish(es)
- Coarse cheese shredder
- Mandoline (recommended)
- A Sharp Knife 🙂
- 2 or 3 eggplants, (aubergine) peeled (or not) and thinly sliced about 1/8″ thin
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 3-4 Cups Panko (plain)
- 6 Cups Red Sauce 1
- 2 Sticks/Tubs fresh soft whole-fat mozzarella (not the shredded bagged stuff)
- ½ Cups grated Parmigiano Reggiano, blended with…
- ¾ Cups grated Pecorino Romano (don’t skip this)
- 1-2 T fresh basil, chiffonade [leaves rolled up together from stem to tip and sliced into thin ribbons] (as garnish)
- Fresh Lemon Zest (as garnish)
- Preheat oven to 350F (175C)
- Layout the sliced eggplant and liberally salt (one side).
- Let sit for 30min for excess moisture to weep.
- Blot with a paper towel. Don’t skip this step, or the eggplant will be bitter.
- Dip eggplant slices in egg, then in bread crumbs.
- Place in a single layer on a baking sheet.
- Bake in preheated oven for ~5 minutes on each side.
- In a baking dish2 spread sauce to cover the bottom. Place a layer of eggplant slices in the sauce. Sprinkle with mozzarella and Parm/Romano mix cheeses. Repeat with remaining ingredients, ending with the mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle some basil on top (or wait until done and garnish, fresh basil is best when raw).
- Bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes, or until top cheese is golden brown.
- Remove from oven and let rest for 10-15min
- Top with garnishes
- 1 If making vegetarian version use Jimi’s “Sacrilelicious Vegetarian Red Sauce”, otherwise use “Jimi’s Italian Red Sauce”. Do not use bottled sauce. Seriously. I’ll find you.
- 2 I like to use the Pyrex 6C square “simple store” dishes for this and make a couple “mini parms” rather than one big parm. Freezes and reheats better this way as well.
- The Pec-Ro cheese is what really makes this dish shine. It has a very distinct strong flavor that plays well with eggplant.
- The cheeses can be gotten at Costco. They charge half the price for (the same brands of) Mozz/Romano/Parm cheeses than grocery stores do.
- Might be a good idea to invest in a Mandoline, use at or near thinnest slice setting.
- Have you bought a Microplane yet? Buy the fucking Microplane.
The trick of this dish is to get many layers of thin-sliced eggplant, cheese and sauce. It refines the dish.Love, Jimi