Rachael Ray: Classic Italian Eggplant Parm
Rachael Ray wanted to give us all a food history lesson. What you think of as Eggplant Parm, the Italian-American version, is a little different from the authentic version from Italy. Check out her Deep-Dish Eggplant Parmigiana Recipe.
The traditional recipes just require layers of eggplant, sauce, and cheese. It doesn’t get easier than that, right? This is lighter because it eliminates bread, which also makes it gluten-free. Trim away up to half of the skin to cut down on the bitter taste.
If it’s spongy, it’s aging and will be more likely to soak up oil. The key to making eggplant work is letting it dry out, as you will do here.
Rachael Ray: Deep-Dish Eggplant Parmigiana Recipe Ingredients
- 3 firm Eggplant
- 1 1/2 cups grated Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese
- Basil leaves
- 1 1/2 lb diced Mozzarella Cheese
- 2 quarts Pomodoro Sauce
- chopped Parsley
- Olive Oil
- Salt & Pepper
Pomodoro Sauce Ingredients
- 1 chopped Onion
- 2 28-oz cans Italian Tomatoes
- 2 tbsp Butter
- 4 cloves chopped Garlic
- 1/2 cup Chicken Stock
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
Rachael Ray: Deep-Dish Eggplant Parmigiana Recipe Directions
- To make the sauce, heat a tablespoon of olive oil on medium.
- Melt butter and stir in onions with garlic, seasoning with salt.
- Cook, partly covered, to soften.
- Add stock and tomatoes, smashing them with a spoon.
- Add basil, reduce heat, and simmer for about 25 minutes, partly covered, stirring now and then.
- For the main course, trim the eggplants and cut them in planks about 1/4” to 1/2” thick.
- Salt and pepper the eggplant.
- Arrange eggplant planks on wire racks over baking sheets and stack, layered with kitchen towels in between.
- Place a weight over the layered eggplant and let drain for 30 minutes to an hour. Press down every so often to ensure you are squeezing out unwanted liquid.
- Preheat oven to 375 F.
- Heat a layer of olive oil on medium to medium high in a skillet.
- Fry eggplant for a few minutes per side, to light golden.
- Let drain on paper towels.
- Put a layer of the pomodoro sauce in the bottom of a casserole dish.
- Layer with 1/3 of the eggplant, followed by a few spoonfuls of sauce.
- Add 1/3 Mozzarella, 1/3 Parmigiano, and some basil leaves.
- Repeat these layers two more times.
- Bake 35-40 minutes. The top layer should be brown and bubbling.
- Garnish with parsley and serve with a green salad.