02 Jun Dr. Sheldon’s Recipes – Easiest Eggplant Parmesan
This recipe is super easy and you can make a small amount to feed just a family of 4, or a larger amount to feed a whole crowd (hence the loose quantities written below). I often bring this to potlucks since it can be assembled in about 10 minutes. People absolutely rave and it’s nice that it’s vegetarian. Healthier options would be to cut down on the salt in the tomato sauce and to use a low fat mozzarella instead. Do make the homemade tomato sauce if you can since it tastes so much better without all of the additives and the sauce can be easily made several days ahead and stored in the fridge or several months in the freezer.
Easiest Eggplant Parmesan (from my mom, who made up this recipe – I think)
- 1-2 boxes Trader Joe’s frozen, breaded eggplant cutlets
- 1 recipe basic tomato sauce or 1-2 jars/cans of your favorite spaghetti sauce
- 2-3 bags Trader Joe’s shredded 3 cheese blend (mozzarella, monterey jack and cheddar) – It’s an orange bag in the cheese section
- grated parmesan cheese
- cooking spray
Spray the bottom of a casserole dish with cooking spray. Ladle some of the tomato sauce into the dish and spread with the back of a spoon so it lightly coats the bottom of the casserole. Layer the frozen cutlets in a single flat layer without overlap on top of the sauce. (NO NEED TO DEFROST FIRST). You can cut the pieces so you fit the pieces in without overlap or too large gaps. Ladle another layer of sauce and spread evenly on top of the cutlets. Sprinkle with the cheeses in an even layer. Repeat these layers 1-3 more times depending on size of the casserole and how many you’re feeding (cutlets, sauce, cheese). Bake at 400 degrees, covered for 45-60 min, then uncovered for 15 minutes until everything is warmed through and cheese on top is bubbling and lightly golden/melted.
Nancy Silverton’s Basic Tomato Sauce (from Bon Appetit, Sept, 2011)
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cups finely chopped onions
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt plus more
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1/2 medium carrot, coarsely grated
- 3 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
- 2 28-ounce cans whole peeled Italian plum tomatoes (preferably San Marzano)
1) Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onions, 1 tablespoon salt, and pepper; cook, stirring often, until onions are soft, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook until softened but not browned, 1-2 minutes. Add carrot and thyme and cook, stirring occasionally, until carrot is soft, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes with juices and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring often to break up tomatoes, until sauce is thickened, about 30 minutes.
2) Set a food mill over a large bowl. Pass sauce through food mill for the best texture (or purée sauce in a food processor or blender). Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD Can be made 3 days ahead. Let cool completely, cover, and chill (or store airtight and freeze for up to 6 months).