One of the most delicious Italian meals! Crispy pan-fried eggplant layered with fresh mozzarella cheese, and delicious marinara sauce! This meal is bursting with Italian flavor and is absolutely scrumptious!
PREP: 30 M | FRY: 10 M | BAKE: 45 M | SERVINGS: 5
- 1 medium or large eggplant
- 1 jar marinara sauce (I like Rao’s)
- 1 16 oz pack fresh mozzarella (I like Belgioioso)
- 2 eggs
- 1-2 cups flour
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 1 tbsp garlic, minced
- 5 fresh basil leaves
- Black pepper
- Garlic powder
- Frying oil
- Slice the eggplant into 1/3 inch round pieces. Place them in a large bowl where they are not touching very much and salt them all well. Let them rest for 30 minutes for liquid to extract from the eggplants that causes bitterness (don’t skip).
- After 30 minutes, damp all the liquid that was extracted from the eggplants with a paper towel, then rinse them very well with lukewarm water. Set on a large pan with a paper towel on it to dry out. You can also place another paper towel over them to soak up the water from the top.
- As your eggplant are drying out, get the sauce ready. In a saucepan, heat 2 tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Sauté the garlic and onion until translucent and fragrant. Then, pour your favorite jar of marinara sauce in the pan and put the heat on low. Add a generous amount of salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and oregano. Toss in your basil leaves and mix in well. Let the sauce simmer on low until you’re ready to use it to allow the flavor to really come out! Taste test the sauce to adjust seasonings to your preference.
- While your sauce is simmering, season all the eggplant with salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and oregano on each side. Then, prepare two dishes: one for the 2 whisked eggs and one for the flour. Start with 1 cup of flour and add more if you need later. Season both the egg and flour with some salt and black pepper.
- Heat a wide and shallow frying pan with oil on high heat. Get everything set up next to your stove to begin coating and frying as you go. First, put the eggplant in the flour and make sure both sides get coated. Then, dip the eggplant in the egg on both sides. Let the excess egg drip, then carefully place it in the frying pan when the oil is nice and hot. Place a few in the pan at a time and flip when they’re golden! This won’t take long.
- When both sides are golden, place the fried eggplant on another large pan with paper towels on it to soak up the excess oil. Continue until you finished frying all of your eggplant.
- Once you’re done, prepare your fresh mozzarella by slicing them into 1/3 inch circles. Remove the sauce from the stove and prepare a square glass baking dish. Preheat your oven to 350°. Now, it’s time to layer.
- To layer, first add a little sauce all over the bottom of your dish. Then, add your eggplant to nicely fit the dish. If you need to cut some eggplant in half for some edges, do so! Then, place a piece of fresh mozzarella over every piece. After the cheese, add some more sauce. Repeat this process until you are done. On the very top, you can add some extra shredded mozzarella cheese if you prefer and sprinkle some oregano.
- Cover the dish with foil and bake at 350° for 45 minutes. In the last 5 minutes, broil it to get that crisp top. Let it rest for about 15 minutes, then cut and serve!