Eggplant Parmesan with Eggplant Bolognese

February 18, 2019

Roasted Eggplant
3 medium sized Italian eggplant, sliced lengthwise into ½-inch thick slices (should have 9 or 10 slices)
½ cup canola oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1.Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Brush the eggplant on both sides with the oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the slices on two baking sheets in an even layer leaving a few inches between each slice.
3.Roast the eggplant on the top and bottom rack of the oven for 12 minutes. Turn the slices over using a metal spatula and put the sheet pan that was on the top rack on the bottom rack and the one on the bottom rack on the top rack and roast until lightly golden brown and soft but still holds it shape, about 12 minutes longer. Remove the sheet pans to cooling racks and let sit until cool enough to handle, about 15 minutes. The eggplant slices can be made up to this point, cooled and refrigerated, tightly covered for 24 hours.

Eggplant Bolognese
Serves: 4 to 6

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for finishing
1 medium Spanish onion, finely diced
1 medium carrot, peeled and finely diced
½ small stalk celery, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped to a paste
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon Calabrian chile flakes
½ cup dry red wine
2 28-ounce cans plum tomatoes and their juices
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
5 slices leftover roasted eggplant, finely diced (recipe above)
¼ cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano

1. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a Dutch oven over high heat. Add the onion, carrot and celery and cook, stirring often, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the chile flakes, salt and pepper and cook for 30 seconds longer.
2. Stir in the wine, bring to a boil and cook until completely reduced, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, rinse the can with a bit of water and add to pot and sugar, bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and cook until the tomatoes begin to soften and break down, about 15 minutes. Using a potato masher, coarsely mash the tomatoes and let cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened, about 20 minutes longer.
6.Fold the eggplant into the sauce along with the oregano and basil and season with salt and pepper to taste and cook for 5 minutes longer.

Eggplant Parmesan
½ cup AP flour
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs
1 ½ cups Panko breadcrumbs
4 slices roasted eggplant, see above recipe
Canola oil
8 thin slices fresh mozzarella
Eggplant Bolognese, recipe above
Wedge of Parmigiano Reggiano

1.Put the flour in a shallow bowl and season with salt and pepper. Whisk the eggs with a splash of cold water, season with salt and pepper and whisk until smooth and transfer to a shallow bowl. Put the breadcrumbs in a shallow bowl and season with salt and pepper.
2.Place a baking rack on top of a baking sheet. Dredge one of the slices of eggplant in the flour on both sides, tap off excess. Dip into the egg mixture and let the excess egg drip off then dredge in the bread crumbs, pressing the crumbs to make sure that they adhere. Place on the rack and let rest while you sauté the mushrooms. The longer the breading sits at room temperature the crisper the eggplant will get.
3. Heat ½ cup of canola oil in the pan over high until it begins to shimmer. Add one or two eggplant and cook until golden brown on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Remove to the baking rack and season the tops with a bit of kosher salt.
4. Preheat the broiler. Put eggplant on a baking sheet and top each slice with two slices of the mozzarella and grate a few tablespoons of parmesan over each. Put under the broiler and broil until the cheese is golden brown and bubbly, about 2 minutes. Ladle eggplant Bolognese over the and serve with more parmesan.