Mario Batali’s Eggplant Parmesan

By Genius Recipes
September 19, 2017
11 Comments


Author Notes: World, we finally have an Eggplant Parmesan that will fit neatly into your after-work life. In fact, there are three secrets to it that Mario Batali has been sitting for years. Recipe adapted from three versions Mario Batali has published over the years, most recently on The Chew. To read the whole story, head here. Genius Recipes

Serves: 4 to 6
Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 1 hrs

Ingredients

For the eggplant parmesan stacks

  • 2 large eggplant, about 1 pound each
  • 1 splash extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pinch salt and freshly-ground black pepper
  • 3 cups basic tomato sauce, warm (recipe follows, or use your favorite)
  • 12 leaves fresh basil (from 1 small bunch)
  • 3/4 to 1 pound fresh mozzarella, sliced about 1/8-inch-thick
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs

For the basic tomato sauce

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Spanish onion, 1/4-inch dice
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 pinch salt, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves, or 1 tablespoon dried
  • 1/2 medium carrot, finely grated
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans peeled whole tomatoes, crushed by hand and juices reserved

Directions

For the eggplant parmesan stacks

  1. Heat the oven to 450° F. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper or foil.
  2. Slice each eggplant into 6 disks about 1 to 1 1/2 inches thick. Brush both sides of each disk with olive oil, lightly season both sides with salt and pepper, and place evenly spaced on the lined baking sheets. Roast the eggplant until the slices are tender throughout and lightly browned, about 30 minutes, flipping the slices once and rotating the pans top to bottom for even cooking. Check to see that the slices are tender by poking in a few places with a fork (if some slices are taking longer than others, you can remove the tender ones to a plate and continue roasting the rest).
  3. Lower the oven temperature to 350° F. Scoot all of the smallest eggplant pieces to one of the same lined baking sheets, and on the other, place the 6 largest eggplant slices, evenly spaced. Over each slice, spread a scant 1/4 cup of tomato sauce and sprinkle with a couple leaves of basil (torn into a few pieces if very large). Place one slice of mozzarella over each and sprinkle with about a teaspoon grated Parmigiano. Place a smaller slice of eggplant over each of the disks and repeat with tomato sauce, basil, and the 2 cheeses.
  4. Bake uncovered until the cheese is well-melted, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small skillet, toast the breadcrumbs over medium heat with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt until golden and crisp, stirring often. Set aside until the eggplant is ready, then sprinkle the toasted bread crumbs over the top of the eggplant, and serve immediately.

For the basic tomato sauce

  1. In a 3-quart saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and a pinch of salt and cook until soft and light golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the thyme and carrot and cook 5 minutes more. Add the tomatoes and juice and bring to a boil, stirring often. Lower the heat and simmer until as thick as oatmeal, about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with more salt to taste. This sauce keeps 1 week in the refrigerator or up to 6 months in the freezer.

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Reviews (11) Questions (0)

11 Comments

Jennifer M. September 18, 2018
I agree with others that this isn’t a weeknight meal. I started cooking at 6:30 and wasn’t done until 8 pm. I may try this again with salted mozzarella. The unsalted that I mistakenly bought doesn’t give this fish enough flavor.
 
Grazi October 11, 2017
I saw someone on TV or You Tube cooking eggplant at the start of the summer without salting and squeezing... As I'd been taught to do. It seems I've been buying and roasting eggplant all summer so this recipe fits right in. Weeknight top, you can quickly slice and roast the eggplant along with another dish, pack in the fridge then assemble the parm next night. I haven't found it necessary to roast at so high a temperature. You can rent with foil partway through to keep from getting too dry. I love the breadcrumbs on top, exactly what I'd been missing.
 
draya3 October 7, 2017
I made this on a school night, having made the sauce on the weekend. It was so easy and everyone loved it!
 
Christine M. October 6, 2017
I love eggplant parm, but I hate frying the eggplant. This is a great substitute and I definitely will make this again only without the thyme. I agree this is not a 30 minute meal unless you use premade sauce and prep the eggplant ahead of time. It was very filling and only needed a baked potato and salad to round out the meal.
 
Lizann A. September 25, 2017
This was super easy and delicious, served it with some leftover chicken with tomatoes and olives. I assembled it in the morning (could do night before) and popped it into the oven after an evening walk. Family and guest worthy. Would be easy to do in an hour, not 40 min. from start to finish.
 
Nancy L. September 23, 2017
Gotta try this! A little time consuming, maybe a Sunday afternoon thing.
 
Wmom September 20, 2017
There's no way that this is a week-night meal, unless you mean that you prep it over several weeknights. Working cooks need meals that take <40m to make.
 
Wmom September 20, 2017
There's no way that this is a week-night meal, unless you mean that you prep it over several weeknights. Working cooks need meals that take <40m to make.
 
Wmom September 20, 2017
There's no way that this is a week-night meal, unless you mean that you prep it over several weeknights. Working cooks need meals that take <40m to make.
 
Victoria C. September 20, 2017
I use Melissa Clarke's recipe from the NYT for dinner parties all the time. What I like about this recipe is not that it's scaled down for weeknight dinners but that is will be excellent as a vegetable side dish.
 
Archena September 20, 2017
Hi very nice and easy recipe will try for sure. Just probably need to replace the Parmigiano-Reggiano with Vegetarian Parmesan. Since we are strictly vegetarian