I swear I thought I was done with baking huge dishes in my oven after having this baked pasta dish because I was practically sweating while eating dinner that night. Now that eggplants are in season I couldn’t help myself when my boyfriend mentioned that eggplant parmigiana sounded kind of good. That is of course one of his favorite meals and he actually likes my version! My sauce making skills are going pretty well too. This time around I added in some beef spare ribs with the Italian sausage. It added a nice flavor to the sauce, that was lacking in my last red sauce when I couldn’t find beef spare ribs. I let the sauce simmer for a few hours, easy as that! Might as well make plenty extras of sauce to freeze for future meals and that way you aren’t always cooking red sauce.
The ribs and sausage cooking away, making my red sauce taste delicious.
Oh yes, back to my eggplant parmigiana. I followed my favorite recipe here, with a few tweaks to the original version.
Baked Whole Wheat Eggplant Parmigiana
4-5 eggplants, sliced slightly thick (I ended up using 1 HUGE eggplant, it was HUGE.. trust me)
2 large eggs
2 large egg whites
100% Whole wheat flour
Salt and pepper
Whole wheat Italian style bread crumbs (homemade works too)
Extra virgin olive oil
Red sauce (homemade is the best or use your favorite store brand)
Goat cheese (or mozzarella cheese)
Grated parmesan cheese
Fresh basil, julienned
Begin by washing your eggplant and slicing thick slices with skin on. Place in a colander and generously sprinkle salt to release the eggplant bitterness. After 30-40 minutes rinse eggplant off and lay on paper towels to dry.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Prepare a baking sheet with a drizzle of olive oil, to prevent from sticking and make extra crispy eggplant. Make your assembly line for eggplant dipping. Start with the flour seasoned with salt and pepper, whisk the eggs with salt and pepper and the bread crumbs. Take a slice of eggplant, dredge in the flour, dip into the egg and into the bread crumbs. Shake off any excess flour, egg and bread crumbs respectively and place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat until all eggplant has been breaded. You may need to prepare an additional baking sheet. I don’t recommend smashing it altogether onto one sheet. Bake for 30 minutes or until lightly brown. Usually 15 minutes into baking I will flip them over, so both sides are nice and crispy. Remove from oven and let cool. Continue to keep the oven on to finish the dish.
In the mean time you should already have the red sauce warmed up and ready. Sauce up a glass casserole dish or lasagna pan to bake the eggplant parmigiana. I decided to use goat cheese over mozzarella. It was a nice change and added that creamy, pungent flavor goat cheese is known for. It felt like a summer dish with the addition of the goat cheese. Start with a layer of eggplant, top with sauce generously and sprinkle goat cheese on top. Continue until all eggplant is used up and your last layer is cheese.
My favorite brand!
Top with a handful of shredded parmesan and place into oven for at least 10-15 minutes. When the cheese is bubbling the dish is done. Remove from oven, garnish with basil and let cool before serving.
The blue placements just don’t work for meals with red sauce, sorry!
I cooked up some spaghetti to serve alongside. My boyfriend enjoyed Italian sausage and beef ribs with his meal as well. This was a winner once again! He doesn’t even know I used whole wheat flour and bread crumbs or that I added in some egg whites instead. I love how versatile this meal is and I didn’t feel like a slave to the kitchen. It was a quick, healthy and delicious meal for a Sunday night dinner. This was worth the extra sweat once again. ;)
PS: I also just learned how to avoid double spacing whenever I hit the enter key on Windows Live Writer. I have to hit shift and enter at the same time. DUHH FALLON!