I adore Eggplant Parmesan, but this is even better! I’ve been making it for years, I saw the Barefoot Contessa make it… I love her style! I make this in the summer with eggplant from my garden, but it’s just as good in the winter. It’s so delicious I dream about it! Make it easy and use store bought marinara sauce.
• olive oil for frying
• 1 1/2 lbs of eggplant, unpeeled, sliced 1/2 inch thick
• 1/2 cup of ricotta cheese
• 2 extra large eggs or 3 mediums
• 1/2 cup of half and half
• 1 cup of fresh Parmesan cheese – divided use
• 1/4 tsp of salt
• 1/4 tsp of pepper
• more salt and pepper for sprinkling on layers
• 1 cup of marinara sauce.
Preheat oven to 425°
Heat 1/8 inch olive oil in large frying pan over medium/high heat. When oil is almost smoking, add several slices of eggplant and cook, turning once, until they are evenly browned, about 6 or 7 minutes.Transfer to paper towels to drain. Add more oil and cook the remaining eggplant, you may have to lower the heat to medium.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the ricotta, eggs, half & half, 1/2 cup of Parmesan, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. In a casserole dish, place a layer of eggplant, then sprinkle on 1/2 of the remaining Parmesan, salt and pepper and pour over the marinara sauce. Then add a second layer of eggplant, sprinkle on a little more salt and pepper, pour ricotta mixture over the top and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan. Bake for 10 minutes at 425°, then lower the heat to 375° and bake for another 25 to 30 minutes until beautifully browned.Enjoy!