Tonight's Eggplant Parmesan was probably one of my best. I kept it very simple. As many of you that have either made it or eaten it prepared the classic way, the eggplant is typically breaded and fried before layering in a casserole. I simply sliced my eggplant in 1/2-inch thick circles, brushed it with olive oil and seasoned with a bit of sea salt, then baked it for about 25 minutes in the oven (flipping it about half way through and then brushing again with olive oil). You simply layer a single layer of eggplant sauce, cheese (mozzarella and provolone), top with more eggplant, sauce and cheese (mozzarella and Parmesan) and bake. I used one of my favorite pasta sauces; Rao's Arrabbiata sauce because it's nice and spicy and flavorful, but you can use your own personal favorite or homemade sauce if you have it handy. After it gets layered in a casserole dish, it gets baked for 20 to 30 minutes and then I allow it to sit a bit so the cheeses set up. It was amazing. This recipe made enough for 5 to 6 generous servings. I snapped a number of photos below and included the easy peasy recipe. You will never EVER miss the breading or the frying (and surely not the clean up that's required after frying eggplant on the stove...if you've ever done that before, you know what I mean). If you like eggplant, you will absolutely love this dish. Enjoy!
Eggplant Parmesan - Low Carb
3 large eggplants, cut into 1/2-inch thick round slices
1/3 cup olive oil (more, if needed)
Sea salt, to taste
1 24-ounce jar pasta sauce (I used Rao's Arrabbiata Sauce)
12-ounces (about 3 cups) shredded mozzarella cheese (more, if desired)
5 to 6 slices provolone cheese
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Brush both sides of eggplant slices with olive oil and place on a parchment lined baking sheet or in a single layer in a nonstick roasting pan. Season with salt, to taste. Bake for 15 minutes; turn slices over, brush with additional olive oil, and bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a fork.
Spread about 1/2 cup of pasta sauce in the bottom of a 2 to 3 quart casserole dish. Place half of the eggplant slices on top of sauce. Top and spread each slice with a spoonful (about 1 tablespoon) of sauce. Top with half of the mozzarella cheese. Fold slices of provolone cheese in half, then half again to break into fourths. Place 1/4 slice of provolone on top of each eggplant/mozzarella mound. Top with remaining half of eggplant slices. Spoon remaining pasta sauce on top of each eggplant stack. Top with remaining half of mozzarella cheese, then with final layer of Parmesan cheese. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly. If desired, run under the broiler for a few minutes to brown cheese. Allow to sit for about 10 to 15 minutes before serving so cheese can set up.