Eggplant Parmesan – A classic Italian baked Eggplant Parmesan prepared with eggplants, tomato sauce, and cheese!
Buon Appetito, Eggplant Parmesan lovers!! Boy, have I got an amazing dish for us today… we’re going to lick our plates clean!
But, heeey, guys! Happy Monday! It’s a meatless one and I made sure for it to be as delicious as a vegetarian main dish should be.
This post is in partnership with our friends at Classico®, and I’ve created my all time fave Eggplant Parmesan recipe with their very best Classico® Tomato Basil Sauce.
However, before I get into the ins and outs of this classic Italian recipe, I have GOT TO share with you a little something that I know about this particular dish.
Friends, are you sitting down? Ok… Uhm… did you know that Chicken Parmesan is NOT Italian? Whaaat?! I know! I was just as shocked, but yes, chicken parm is like an American-Italian invented version of Eggplant Parmesan, also known as Parmigiana di Melanzane, in Italian. They just used chicken in place of eggplants, and boom! Chicken Parm was born.
Anywho. I thought that was something you really needed to know about the delicious eggplant parmesan and how it inspired the invention of the ever so popular, chicken parm.
Onto the eggplants.
This right here is definitely one Italian dish that needs just a bit of an introduction because my version of eggplant parmesan is inspired by the region of Naples.
What does that mean?! Well! In Napoli, a.k.a. Naples, Italy, eggplant parmesan does not include flour and eggs, breadcrumbs are optional, and the sauce is all about the tomatoes and basil.
It is lighter than the breaded version, made with Italian-style fresh ingredients such as, fresh mozzarella, grilled eggplant slices, a good dose of garlic, and the delicious regionally inspired Classico® Tomato Basil Sauce.
What comes next is just the layering of the ingredients, and a nice 20-ish minutes in the oven. Truly, the flavor of the dish speaks for itself.
One more thing? Could you please Pack Your Passports, enter the sweepstakes for a TRIP TO ITALY FOR 2, and then make this amazing Eggplant Parmesan for dinner tonight?! Awesome!!
For more information on Classico® and its wonderful products, please visit their WEBSITE.
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TOOLS AND INGREDIENTS USED IN THIS RECIPE
- 2 to 3 eggplants (about 2 pounds) sliced into 1-inch thick slices
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil , divided
- salt and fresh ground pepper , to taste
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon , dried oregano
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella , cut into thin slices
- 1 jar (15 ounces) Classico® Tomato Basil Sauce, divided divided
- 1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan , for topping
- basil leaves , for garnish
- Preheat oven to 425.
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a grill pan over medium heat.
- Drizzle a bit of olive oil over each slice of eggplant; season with salt and pepper, and transfer to the grill pan. You will need to cook them in batches.
- Cook eggplant slices about 4 minutes, per side.
- In the meantime, layer about 1/4 cup of the Classico® Tomato Basil Sauce on the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish.
- Arrange prepared eggplant slices over the sauce and set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, combine panko crumbs, parmesan cheese, garlic, and oregano.
- Sprinkle about 1/3 of the parmesan mixture over the eggplants.
- Top with thinly sliced fresh mozzarella, and layer 1/3 of the sauce over the cheese.
- Continue repeating the layers with the rest of the ingredients, finishing up with sauce on the top.
- Sprinkle freshly grated parmesan over the entire dish.
- Bake for 20 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.
- Remove from oven and let stand about 5 minutes.
- Garnish with basil leaves.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Classico. The opinions and text are all mine.