Marinara, Puttanesca, and Eggplant Parm

April 3, 2012

This recipe has been in draft for over two months. I don't know why I have procrastinated so long. I think sometimes it is difficult for me to post our family recipes because of the whole measuring thing or lack there of. It makes it difficult to write out the recipe, but I did my best!!
So here goes.....

My Mom and I made a big tray of eggplant parmesan a few months back. A lot of the dishes in our family start with a simple marinara, not to be confused with our "Sauce" that I posted with the meatball recipe. They are slightly different.

Furmanos crushed tomatoes blog

Olive Oil(Extra Virgin)
4 Cloves of Garlic
3 28oz Cans of Crushed Tomatoes
Pinch of Sugar
2 tsp of Salt(Kosher)
1 tsp of Fresh Ground Black Pepper
1/2 Cup of Chopped Italian Parsley

Use enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pot. Turn on the heat and then add the garlic and stir for about a minute or two, but be careful not to burn it. Next, add the 3 Cans of Crushed Tomatoes, Pinch of Sugar, Salt, Black Pepper, and Parsley.
Simmer it so that all of the ingredients will marry together. Usually for at least an hour.

Capers and Anchovies
We decided to kick it up a notch and turn our marinara into a puttanesca.
(If puttanesca is not to your liking, then go no further and stick with the simple marinara)

2 Anchovies
A handful of Black Olives Pitted and Chopped
Approximately 1 TBSP of Capers in Salt(Rinsed and Choopped)
3-4 Cloves of Garlic
Red Crushed Pepper Flakes(Optional)

In a separate pot from the marinara, use a little olive oil and then add your ingredients above and cook through for about 3-5 minutes. It will become fragrant and you will see the olives and capers start to breakdown a bit. Then, you want to add this mixture into your pot of marinara and continue to let it simmer.

Frying in the pan BLOG
Before we started the sauce, we peeled and sliced 3-4 large eggplants. We placed them in a shallow dish of water, covered them with wax paper, and then placed a heavy dish or pot on top. After about 15 minutes you will see that the water turns a purple-ish color. We then drained the water and placed the eggplant on papertowels to dry off. Once dried, we set up two bowls, one with egg, one with seasoned breadcrumbs. We dipped each piece of eggplant into the eggwash, then into the breadcrumbs. After we finished we began to pan fry in Olive Oil. It only took a few minutes on each side. Once you see the edges start to turn a little brown and crispy, you know it is done.

As quickly as we were pulling them out of the pan and putting them onto a papertowel lined plate(helps absorb the oil), someone was doing a little pre-dinner tasting......

Our Little Taste Tester BLOG
It was the first time she tried eggplant and she LOVED it. We had to cut her off after three pieces:))
She kept licking her fingers and saying, "More Mommy, More!" I wish my Grandmother was still here with us.... she would have truly appreciated Reagan's love of food!!

Eggplant Parm on a Plate BLOG
By the time the eggplant was all fried up, the sauce was done and everything was ready to be layered in a large lasagna pan. We started by coating the bottom of the pan with the sauce, then we spread a layer of eggplant, then a little more sauce, then we topped it with shredded mozzarella cheese and pecorino romano. Then it was another layer of eggplant, sauce, and cheese. We kept repeating until we reached the top of the pan. I believe it was three or four layers in total. Then it was into the oven at 350 Degrees for about 40 minutes. You will see it start to bubble on the sides and the cheese will get brown on top.

This recipe takes some time and prep in the kitchen, but it is SO WORTH IT. I promise you, it will be the best eggplant you ever tasted. We all enjoyed this one..... even the kids and the best part, there were plenty of leftovers!
If you are an eggplant lover or just looking for something different, give it a try!!

And since we are talking "FOOD" today, I thought I would go ahead and announce the winner of Giada's new cookbook, "Weeknights With Giada". Random Number came up with #74. Congratulations Tammie T, you have a new cookbook headed your way! Just email me your address and I will get it in the mail to you.

Have a Terrific Tuesday Everyone!


Shari said...

I made Eggplant Parmesan this summer and it didn't look 1/2 as good as yours - I didn't know how much work it was...but you're right even this non-cook thought it was worth the wait.
Very happy my sister won the cookbook - we eat MANY meals at her house:)

Tammie T. said...

YEAH!!!! I am so excited. I love trying new recipes. I will make sure the first recipe I try is shared with Sharie and Amelia! :)
Thank you for the cookbook, but most of all thank you for your beautiful blog! Thanks again! Have a TERRIFIC TUESADY!! Tammie
Sharie is going to send you my address. :)

Tammie T. said...

So excited I couldn't even spell TUESDAY!! :)

snekcip said...

Oh my gosh!! That looks scrumptious! Who would have thought and "odd shaped purple veggie could make such a delicious looking dish"!! Hmmmm, now to try and attempt to make it...well...let's just say mine might turn out to be a PURPLE PEOPLE EATER instead! Ha!!!

likeschocolate said...

Devine! I can't wait to try this recipe! Happy Easter!

Gail said...

I haven't eaten breakfast yet and this post is making my stomach growl!! yummy. You really have the best recipes Lisa and your pics make everything look extra delicious.

xoxo Gail

Tara said...

oh my goodness does that ever look soooo good! I'm adding your recipe to my "ive got to try" list! Happy Tuesday Lisa, tara

Anonymous said...

I do not eat dairy so I am going to try this without the cheese. My mouth was watering....

Diane said...

This post brought a "big" smile to my face! Being from a large Italian family, I totally get that there are "NO" written recipes:) I cannot tell you how many times over the years I asked my "Nana" and my mother, "how do you make it"? (i.e. sauce, meatballs, eggplant, etc.) and the only response I ever got was.."oh, you just add a little of this and a little of that". They truly could not tell me because they NEVER measure anything! And because when they cooked all my fav's it was an "all day affair" (they would wait for the sauce to cook for hours) I was never patient enough to watch the entire process. True story, it was not until the past few years that I was able to "get it all down"...but trust never tastes as delicious as theirs, LOL! Can't wait to try your eggplant! Just seeing Reagan's expression has me convinced it is YUMMY:)
God Bless,

Tracee said...

I spent all day Sunday making and canning sauce. We had a new grocery store open and I was able to buy Roma tomatoes for .29 cents a pound! I won't have to make sauce for at least a few months!! Your eggplant looks wonderful! I know what you mean about writing recipes out. I don't use recipes...I just cook. It's how my mom and grandmother taught me. Drives my husband nuts. He has to have every little detail spelled out for him.

Anonymous said...

Looks so yummy!

Gina Kleinworth said...

Yum Yum Lisa- definitely going to be making this.

Eliz Bailey said...

Love your story. I am a Culpeper, VA based photographer. IF I won $1,000 I'd say I'd use it to buy MORE equipment like a new lens or something.....
Have a great spring!