1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Heat oil in a large heavy ovenproof pot over medium. Cook garlic, stirring often, until golden (4 min). Add onion, anchovies (if using), and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring often, until onion is translucent (5 min). Stir in tomato paste and cook, stirring often until slightly darkened (2 min).
2. Add wine, bring to a boil, and cook until almost completely evaporated (1 min).
3. Add tomatoes, breaking up with your hands, and their juices; add basil and oregano and stir to combine. Swirl 1 1/2 cups water into one tomato can, then the other, to rinse, and add to pot; season with salt.
4. Transfer pot to oven; roast sauce, stirring halfway through, until thick and tomatoes are brown on top and around edges of pot (2-2 1/2 hrs).
5. Let sauce cool slightly. Pass through the large holes of a food mill or process in a food processor until nicely smooth. Taste and season with salt.
Sauce can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and chill.
Eggplant & Assembly
1. Lightly season eggplant slices all over with salt; place in a single layer on several layers of paper towels inside a rimmed baking sheet. Top with another layer of paper towels and more slices; repeat as needed. Top with a final layer of paper towels, then another rimmed baking sheet; way down with a heavy pot. Let egg plant sit until it has released excess liquid (45-60 min). This step gives the egg plant a creamy texture when baked.
2. Meanwhile, pulse panko, oregano, pepper, and 3/4 cup Parmesan in a food processor until very finely ground. Transfer to a shallow bowl.
3. Preheat oven to 350 F. Place flower in another shallow bowl and eggs in a third shallow bowl. Working one at a time, dredge eggplant slices in flour, then dip it in egg, allowing access to drip off. Coat in breadcrumbs, packing all around, then shaking off excess. Place on wire racks.
4. Heat 2/3 cup oil in a large skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium-high. Cook as many eggplant slices as will fit in pan, turning once, until deep golden (5 min).
5. Transfer to paper towels and immediately press with more paper towel to absorb oil. Working in batches, repeat with remaining slices, adding remaining 2/3 cup oil and wiping out skillet as needed. Let cool. Taste and season with more salt if needed.
6. Toss chopped herbs, low-moisture mozzarella, and remaining 3/4 cup Parmesan in a medium bowl.
7. Spread 1 cup sauce over the bottom of a 13 x 9“ baking pan; top with a layer of eggplant slices (trim as needed). Drizzle 1 cup sauce over and sprinkle with 1/3 of cheese mixture.
8. Add another layer of eggplant, followed by 1 cup sauce and half of remaining cheese mixture. Repeat layers with the remaining slices, sauce, and cheese mixture.
9. Cover with foil and bake on a rimmed baking sheet until eggplant is custardy (45-60 min).
10. Remove from oven and arrange fresh mozzarella over eggplant.
11. Increase oven temperature to 425 F and bake, uncovered, until cheese is bubbling and browned in spots (additional 15-20 min).
12. Let rest 30 min. Top with basil leaves just before slicing.
NOTE: Trying to slice into the eggplant Parmesan while it’s molten hot creates an oozy mess, so let it rest at room temperature for at least 30 min to firm up before serving.
Eggplant Parmesan can be made 2 days ahead. Let cool; cover with foil and chill. Reheat in a 350 F oven, uncovering halfway through, until bubbling gently at edges.
View line-by-line Nutrition Insights™: Discover which ingredients contribute the calories/sodium/etc.
|Serving Size: 1 Serving (90g)|
|Recipe Makes: 12 Servings|
|Calories from Fat: 177 (55%)|
|Amt Per Serving||% DV|
|Total Fat 19.6g||26 %|
|Saturated Fat 8.4g||42 %|
|Monounsaturated Fat 8.8g|
|Polyunsanturated Fat 1.3g|
|Cholesterol 43mg||13 %|
|Sodium 481mg||17 %|
|Potassium 102.8mg||3 %|
|Total Carbohydrate 22.1g||6 %|
|Dietary Fiber 0.5g||2 %|
|Sugars, other 21.6g|
|Protein 15.4g||22 %|
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Disclaimer: Nutrition facts are derived from linked ingredients (shown at left in colored bullets) and may or may not be complete. Always consult a licensed nutritionist or doctor if you have a nutrition-related medical condition.
Calories per serving: 323
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