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Check out the recipe for an easier and faster version of this melanzane alla parmigiana
Wash and cut the eggplants into medium-sized slices. Put some paper towels on a baking tray, or the kitchen counter, and distribute the eggplant over the covered surface.
Generously salt the slices and put a layer of paper towels on top of the eggplant, so the salt can draw out as much moisture as possible. Leave the eggplant like this for 45 minutes while you prepare the sauce.
Peel and cut the onion and six cloves of garlic. Heat a splash of olive oil in a medium-sized pan at low heat. Add the chopped onion and garlic and cook them until they become translucent.
Add the tomato paste and cook everything for a few minutes using the wooden spatula.
Adjust your stove to medium heat and add the two cans of diced tomatoes. Gently tear up the fresh basil and add this to the sauce with a tablespoon of dried oregano.
Add a little bit of water and let the sauce simmer at low heat for 20 minutes, seasoning it with pepper and salt. If you want a very smooth sauce, you can use your immersion blender.
Add some flour to one of the bowls. Use a whisk to beat the eggs with a splash of milk in another bowl.
Add the panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) and two tablespoons of dried oregano, with approximately 150 grams of Parmesan cheese to the third bowl. Make sure everything is properly mixed.
Pre-heat the oven at 180 degrees Celsius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Heat a good amount of sunflower oil in the Dutch oven or another pan with a thick bottom. Check the temperature of the oil by dipping a small piece of paper towel into it. Are there little bubbles rising to the surface? If so, your oil is at just the right temperature – if not, it will need a few more minutes to heat up.
Blot the eggplant slices with paper towels. Dredge three pieces into the bowl of flour, making sure both sides of each slice get fully coated. (You can use a pair of tongs if needed)
Dip a slice of floured eggplant into the egg mixture, covering both sides once again.
Dredge the eggplant slice now through the bowl with panko, ensuring an even coating of breadcrumbs on all sides. Repeat these steps for the rest of the eggplant slices.
Place the eggplant on parchment paper so they won’t stick to any surface.
Fry the breaded slices for two minutes on each side until they’re golden brown. Take the eggplant out of the hot oil and let them drain on some paper towels on the baking tray, this will remove the excess grease. Repeat this for the other slices.
Ladle some of the sauce into an oven dish and cover this with a layer of fried eggplant. Add a handful of shredded mozzarella and a good amount of Parmesan cheese.
Repeat those layers two or three more times, or until you run out of eggplant. Finish the dish with a layer of sauce and shredded cheese on top.
Bake the fried eggplant parmigiana for 20 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the cheese looks nice and golden. Garnish with fresh parsley and/or fresh basil. Enjoy!