The other night I was rummaging through the refrigerator, trying to come up with an idea for dinner. I had tons of extra eggplant lying around, along with all of the ingredients necessary to make a basic tomato sauce, so I decided to create my own version of an eggplant parmesan. I was all out of parmesan, so used mozzarella cheese instead. And I drizzled a little bit of white truffle oil (I am seriously obsessed with truffle oil) over the eggplant to give it a little burst of flavor. I wanted to keep this dish some-what healthy, so I baked the eggplant, instead of pan frying it.
If you’re short on time and don’t want to make a tomato sauce from scratch, you can always buy a jar of your favorite tomato sauce as a substitute. However, I highly recommend trying this tomato sauce recipe because it’s so delicious. And what’s so nice about making your own sauce is that it will keep for a couple of weeks in the refrigerator, so you can use it for other dishes as well.
- 1 whole eggplant, cut into 1/2 inch quarter slices
- 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt (kosher or grey salt)
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon water
- White truffle oil
- Garlic and Basil Tomato Sauce (see recipe below)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Combine the bread crumbs, oregano and sea salt into a bowl. Then in another bowl, crack the egg and add the water and whisk gently with a fork. Coat each piece of eggplant with the egg mixture and then coat in the bread crumb mixture. Place the eggplant on a baking sheet and bake for 30-35 minutes, until the eggplant is cooked through and the breadcrumbs are crispy and golden. Then drizzle each slice with a little white truffle oil, then top with tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese. Layer the eggplant like I did, if you want to make it look fancy.
Garlic and Basil Tomato Sauce
- 12 oz can tomato sauce
- 12 oz can diced tomatoes, strained
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 5 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 tablespoons basil, chopped
- 1 tablespoon oregano, chopped
- 1 tablespoon thyme, chopped
- Salt and Pepper
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat, then add the diced onions. Cover the pot so that the onions sweat a little and become slightly translucent, about 3 to 5 minutes. You don’t want to caramelize the onions so stir every couple minutes. Then add the garlic when your onions start to look like this…
Then add the rest of the ingredients and reduce to low heat. Your sauce will look like this at first…
But after 3 hours, the tomatoes will start to break down and look like this. The longer you cook the sauce, the better it gets. I’d highly recommend cooking for 5 hours, but if you can only give it 3, it will still turn out darn tasty.