Saturday, September 4, 2010

Eggplant/ Zucchini Parmesan

This is one of my favorite things to do with zucchini, those that you accidently let get bigger than you like. I've made it with eggplant too, it's good with either one. I like to serve mine on top of spaghetti noodles. Yum!!

Eggplant / Zucchini Parmesan

1 large eggplant, or 2 medium size zucchini
1 cup italian bread crumbs
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
2 eggs
Oil for frying
Marinara sauce ( use bottled or see my recipe below)
1 cup grated Mozerella cheese (approx)
Grated Parmesan cheese
Cooked spaghetti noodles

Heat about 1/2 to 1 inch of vegetable oil in a heavy skillet. Meanwhile, peel eggplant and slice into about 1/4 inch thick slices. If using zucchini, you don't need to peel it unless it's bigger, (bigger zucchini's skin is tougher), just cut into 1/4 inch thick slices. Whisk eggs in a medium size bowl with a tablespoon or two of water, and season with salt and pepper. Soak slices of eggplant/zucchini in egg. In another shallow bowl, stir together the breadcrumbs, flour, salt, garlic powder, and onion powder. When oil is hot, dredge slices of eggplant/zucchini in bread crumb mixture ( I lay mine flat and press into crumbs with my fingers, then flip and press the other side into the crumbs.) Then place in hot oil, and fry till golden brown, turn over and fry other side. Drain on cooling rack placed over a cookie sheet. This lets the oil drip off without causing the eggplant/zucchini  to get too soggy. Fry in batches, takes a couple of minutes per side.
When eggplant/zucchini is all done frying, prepare a 13x9 casserole dish by spraying with non-stick cooking spray. Then spread a spoonful of marinara sauce on the bottom. Shingle the eggplant/zucchini allong the bottom of the pan. I barely have the ends over lap. Then spread about a cup of marinara sauce over it. Just a thin layer of sauce is enough. Then sprinkle about 1/2 cup mozerella cheese over sauce, and sprinkle parmesan cheese on top of that. Then shingle another layer of eggplant, zucchini, then more sauce, then both cheeses. Keep layering until all the eggplant/zucchini is used, ending with the both cheeses.
Place in a 350 degree oven , and bake about 25 minutes till sauce is hot and bubbly, and cheese is melted and slightly browned on top. Serve over hot spaghetti noodles, garnish with more grated parmesan cheese and enjoy!!!
If I have sauce leftover I keep it warm in a sauce pan, you might want to add more sauce to individual servings if desired.

Marinara Sauce
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup diced onion
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic (1 1/2 cloves)
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes (or 2-14 oz. cans)
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried basil ( or  1/4 chopped fresh basil)
1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 carrot, diced (see note**)

Head olive oil in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and saute for 1 to 2 minutes or until the garlic begins to turn light brown. Stir in crushed tomatoes, and then add the remaining ingredients. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 25 minutes, stirring often. You can mash the sauce with a potatoe masher, or if you have one of those little hand held blenders use that, I dont' have one so sometimes I  spoon some of the  chunkier things into a blender and blend till smooth. Then add back with the rest of the sauce.
**I learned to add a carrot to marinara sauce from Tyler Florence on the Food Network. He says it helps with the acidity from the tomatoes, and it helps give a nice flavor and color to the sauce. I thought it was delicious. I added the red wine vingar, it added some extra yumminess to the sauce.

1 comment:

  1. Made this with eggplant, zucchini, and chicken. Yummy! If you use a big zucchini, peel it to. My skins didn't soften. Thanks Di!!