We were lucky enough to have my mom in town for the week and she did ALL the things. Between entertaining a very clingy baby and walking a very needy dog, she also cooked the most amazing food.
Since I wanted to be able to replicate this relatively quickly, we used jarred sauce and it still turned out great. We served this with spaghetti, but your favorite pasta shape would work too.
Maya had a little of the eggplant after it was roasted and it was a hit!
1 large eggplant, cut in 3/8-inch slices, skin left on.
1 cup or more of Italian Style Bread Crumbs
2 T. avocado oil
2 T. olive oil
large log of whole milk, pre-sliced, mozzarella cheese (16 slices)
48-56 0z. home-made or prepared marinara sauce (I love Rao’s)
*Optional 1c of mushrooms, sliced
5 oz. grated Parmesan cheese
10 Fresh basil leaves for garnish
Prepare the eggplants and mushrooms
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. Grease a large roasting pan with avocado oil
4. Prepare 2 shallow bowls, 1 with the beaten eggs, 1 with the bread crumbs
5.Dip eggplant slice in egg coating both sides, then dip eggplant slice in bread crumbs, coating evenly. Place eggplant slice on greased roasting pan. Repeat with remaining slices, trying to fit all of them in the pan. Since eggplants are all different sizes, you might exceed the pan with extra slices, which will require a second batch in the oven. If you run out of egg and bread crumbs, add more until all slices are coated and ready to roast.
6.Roast eggplant 8-10 minutes per side, until the coating begins to brown and get crispy on the edges.
7. (Optional) Meanwhile, heat a skillet over medium heat. Add 1T of oil or butter. Sautee mushrooms until they release their moisture, 8-10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
- Adjust oven to 350 degrees
- Coat bottom of a 9’x13’ glass or ceramic rectangular baking dish with one ladle full of marinara sauce.
- Place roasted eggplant slices side-by-side in the pan to create the first layer. Place a slice of mozzarella cheese on each slice of eggplant.
- Scatter mushrooms between layers, if using.
- Lightly ladle marinara over the eggplant/mozzarella slices, but do not drown them in sauce.
- Add the second layer of eggplant slices and mozzarella slices on each one. Add more marinara to lightly cover the slices. If you need a third layer of eggplant, add that with mozzarella slices and more sauce.
- Sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese to cover the entire top layer. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, remove the foil and bake for 5 more minutes. Remove from oven and allow to stand for 5 minutes.