Eggplant parmigiana is a southern Italian dish made of sliced eggplant, deep-fried then layered with cheese and tomato sauce and baked. I can not bring myself to deep-fry anything (even in olive oil!) so in this healthier version, I skip the batter and frying and simply roast the eggplant.
- 3 small or 2 medium eggplants, cut into ¼-inch slices = 3 petites aubergines, ou 2 moyennes, coupées en rondelles de ½ cm
- about ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil = environ 60 ml d'huile d'olive + 1 cuillère à soupe
- 3 cloves garlic, minced = 3 gousses d'ail, émincées
- 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes = 800 g de purée de tomates
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar = 1 cuillère à soupe de sucre roux
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil = 2 cuillères à soupe de basilic frais ciselé
- 15 oz. ricotta cheese = 425 g de ricotta
- a pinch of nutmeg, freshly grated = une pincée de noix de muscade
- 8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese = 225 g de mozarella râpée
- 1 cup shredded Parmigiano Reggiano = 100 g de parmesan (Parmigiano Reggiano) râpé
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmigiano Reggiano = 2 cuillères à soupe de parmesan très finement râpé
- 2 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs = 2 cuillères à soupe de chapelure (Panko)
- salt & pepper to taste = sel et poivre
Preheat oven to 425°F/220°C. Line a baking sheet with parchment and spray with olive oil. Arrange eggplant slices in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Brush or spray with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Flip the slices over and repeat, so that both sides are oiled and salted. Roast until golden brown, about 40 minutes, flipping the eggplant halfway through. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool while you prepare the remainder of the ingredients. Reduce the oven temperature to 375°F/190°C.
In a saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat and add the minced garlic. Cook until the garlic is fragrant, do not let it burn! Add the crushed tomatoes to the pan and bring the sauce to a gentle simmer. Add the sugar. Simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, add the basil and season with salt and pepper. Cover to keep warm.
In a medium bowl, stir together the ricotta, 1 cup of shredded Parmigiano Reggiano, and a pinch of black pepper and ground nutmeg.
To assemble the dish: spread 1/3 of the tomato sauce on the bottom of a large baking dish, followed by half of the roasted eggplant, another 1/3 of the tomato sauce, half of the ricotta mixture and half of the shredded mozzarella. Repeat with the remaining eggplant, slices 1/3 of the sauce, ricotta mixture and mozzarella. Mix panko and finely grated parmesan, sprinkle evenly on top.
Cover the dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and continue baking for another 15-20 minutes, until top is golden brown and filling is bubbly. You can also put it under the broiler for a few minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 5-10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!