When Kara, Cliff and I went to Italy last Thanksgiving, one of the pastas we ordered had eggplant in it. I can’t remember what it was called, which means it’s time to book another trip to Italy (hint hint!). I didn’t grow up eating eggplant, and I’m sure Italy was the first time I had tried it. I loved this pasta dish and so did Kara and Cliff! We loved it so much we recreated it soon after we got home.
Recently, I was itching to cook with eggplant again. My Mom and I made this Eggplant Parmesan together and it totally hit the spot. It was ah-may-zing. The first time I made it I used regular grated mozzarella and the second time around I tried fresh mozzarella. Both were really good, but I think I like the fresh better, mostly because I can snack on the fresh mozzarella whilst I cook.
Last weekend was the season premiere of Mob Wives Chicago. I am obsessed with the original Mob Wives so this was a big deal!! Especially since it’s our hometown!! We had fun pointing out the bars and restaurants they were filmed at and mostly we compared it to the phenomenon that is the ORIGINAL Mob Wives. Team Drita!! Admittedly, Chicago Mob Wives was not as good. Still, it’s a guilty pleasure that I can not and will not miss. Because we had anxiously awaited the premiere of Mob Wives Chicago, we decided to cook an Italian feast then watch it together. We made Eggplant Parmesan, pappardelle with Bolognese Sauce and a really delicious salad that will post later this week. It was such a good dinner. And for dessert we had our version of Cannoli (stay tuned!). So yummy! Oh yeah…gelato too, what’s a meal without gelato?
Answer? An incomplete meal!
- 2 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
- butter, for greasing the dish
- 2 eggs, beaten with 2 tablespoons water
- 1 medium eggplant, peeled and cut into ½ inch thick rounds
- 1 cup flour, for dredging
- vegetable oil, for frying
- 8 oz ball fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into ½ inch rounds
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- salt and pepper
- 3 cup Quickie Sauce
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter the bottom and sides of a large baking dish and set aside.
- Line up 3 shallow bowls on your counter. Place flour in one bowl, egg wash (2 eggs beaten with 2 tablespoons water) in the second bowl and breadcrumbs in the third bowl.
- Season each eggplant slice on both sides with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Dredge each eggplant slice in flour first, and tap off excess flour. Next, dip it in the egg wash. Finally dredge it in the breadcrumbs. Shake off any excess breadcrumbs and transfer the eggplant rounds to a large piece parchment paper, taking care not to overlap the eggplant pieces. Repeat until all eggplant rounds are floured, egg washed and coated in bread crumbs.
- Heat ½ inch of oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Working in small batches, fry a few of the eggplant slices, turning once, until golden brown, about 3 minutes per batch. Using tongs, transfer to a paper towel-lined baking sheet.
- Cover the bottom of the baking dish with Quickie Sauce and arrange 6 pieces of eggplant over the Quickie Sauce. Cover the eggplant with some of the sauce, a slice of mozzarella and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese. Repeat step to make 3 layers. End with fresh mozzarella and parmesan cheese and bake until hot and just beginning to brown, about 30 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.