|Rao’s Eggplant Parmigiano
Serves 4 to 6
2 eggplants, peeled and sliced 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick
6 large eggs
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, plus additional for layering
1 tablespoon minced fresh Italian parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Seasoned flour for dredging
2 cups plain breadcrumbs
1/2 cup olive oil
2 cups Rao’s Marinara Sauce
1/2 to 1 pound mozzarella, diced
Spread the eggplant in 1 layer on paper towels. Sprinkle generously with salt. Place the eggplant in a colander and cover with a plate. Place a weight on the plate to weigh down the eggplant. Let sit for 30 minutes. Remove the weights and shake off any excess salt.
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Combine the eggs, grated cheese, parsley, and salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Set out a plate of flour and a plate of bread crumbs.
Lightly flour the eggplant, shaking off any excess. Dip the slices in the egg mixture, then the breadcrumbs. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat until hot. Fry the eggplant in batches, turning them when the edges are browned, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Place the fried eggplant on a folded brown paper bag or on paper towels to drain.
Layer the ingredients in a 9 x 15 x 2 inch pan. Begin by spreading approximately 1/4 cup of the sauce in the bottom of the pan. Add an overlapping layer of eggplant, then more sauce, followed by I teaspoon of grated cheese, Then sprinkle with a handful or two of mozzarella. Add another layer of eggplant and continue layering, ending with a layer of sauce and a handful of mozzarella.
Cover the dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and cook for 15 to 30 minutes, until the cheese begins to brown and the sauce is bubbling. Serve.
"Rao's: Recipes From The Neighborhood," by Frank Pellegrino, St. Martin's Press, copyright 2004.