My daddy was always a wonderful cook growing up, and one of his best dishes was eggplant parmesan. I stole his recipe and made a couple of tweaks, but the essence is the same – and delicious. This dish is very involved, so make sure you have a couple hours to do it right. Your tastebuds will thank you for the effort.
- 2 eggplants, thinly sliced
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup of milk
- 1 cup of Italian bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup of flour
- 2 tsp. ground thyme, plus 1 tsp.
- 1 Tbs. dried oregano, plus 2 Tbs.
- 2 Tbs. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. cayenne pepper, plus 1 tsp.
- 1 lb. spaghetti
- 2 cans diced tomatoes (14.5 oz each)
- 1 small can of tomato sauce
- 2 yellow onions, diced
- 1/2 cup button or crimini mushrooms, chopped
- 7-8 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 2 Tbs.+ canola oil
- 1/2 tsp. fennel seed
- 1 tsp. anise seed
- 2 tsp. fresh basil, chopped
- 2 tsp. sugar
- 1 cup grated parmesan
- 1 cup shredded mozzerella
- 1 lb. thin spaghetti
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a shallow bowl, whisk together eggs and milk. In a separate bowl, stir together bread crumbs, flour, and seasonings. Coat thin slices of eggplant in egg, then dust with bread crumb mixture. Let sit on a wire rack for 15 minutes. This well help the breading stick to it.
Meanwhile, in a separate skillet over medium-high heat, heat canola oil. Lightly fry the eggplant in batches until golden brown on both sides, then drain on paper towels.
Now it’s time to assemble the casserole. In a 3 quart casserole dish, ladle 1/3 of the sauce on the bottom. Cover this with fried eggplant, then ladle another 1/3 of sauce on top. Sprinkle with both cheeses. Top this layer with more eggplant, more sauce, and then top with with the rest of the cheese.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the aluminum foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Broil for 2-5 minutes until cheese is bubbly.