Alexis deBoschnek's Eggplant Parmesan
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 4 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
- 2 Yellow Onions Finely chopped
- 4 Garlic Cloves Minced
- 1 Can (6 oz) Tomato Paste
- 1 Tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
- 3 Tsp Kosher Salt Plus more to taste
- 1 Tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- 2 Cans *(28 oz Each) Whole Tomatoes
- 1 14.4 oz Can Whole Tomatoes
- 2 Large Globe Eggplants Cut into 1/4 inch slices lengthwise
- 1 1/2 Tsp Kosher Salt Plus more for salting the eggplant
- 1 Cup All-Purpose Flour
- 4 Eggs
- 4 Cups Panko
- 3/4 Cup Olive Oil
- 3/4 Cup Olive Oil
- 1 1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan
- 2 Balls (8 0z Each) Fresh Mozzarella Cut into 1/4 inch slices
Make the sauce: In a large Dutch oven, heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, add the onions and cook for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the onions have released some of their water, have softened, and become golden. Add the garlic and stir for about 3 minutes, or until fragrant. Increase the heat to medium-high, add the tomato paste, and stir until the paste turns brick red and caramelizes, about 3 minutes.
Add the red pepper flakes, salt, and the black pepper, and stir to combine. Squeeze the tomatoes with your hands into the pot to crush them. Pour in the remaining tomato juice from the can. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Let cool to room temperature. Salt to taste.
Make the eggplant: Meanwhile, line a cutting board or rimmed baking sheet with paper towels. Arrange the eggplant slices in a single layer on the paper towel-lined surface and sprinkle with salt. Let sit for 1 hour, until you see droplets of water on top of the eggplant. Use a paper towel to blot the eggplant.
Place the flour, the 1 ½ teaspoons of salt, and pepper in a shallow bowl and whisk to combine. In a second shallow bowl, add the eggs and beat. In a third shallow bowl, add the panko. Dip the eggplant in the flour, shaking off any excess. Then dip the eggplant in the egg. Last, dip the eggplant in the panko. Place the dredged eggplant on a second baking sheet or cutting board, and repeat with the remaining eggplant.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. The oil should be ¼ inch deep. Once the oil begins to shimmer, add the eggplant in batches and fry until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Clean your cutting board or rimmed baking sheet and line with dry paper towels. Transfer the eggplant to the clean paper towel-lined surface. Repeat with the remaining eggplant, adding more oil as necessary.
Spread ¼ of the tomato sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Top with a layer of eggplant. Sprinkle ½ cup of the Parmesan over the eggplant. Repeat with the remaining eggplant, sauce, and Parmesan, creating three layers total. Make sure the top layer is completely covered with sauce. Top with the mozzarella slices and bake for 50 to 55 minutes, until the mozzarella is golden and bubbling.
Let the eggplant Parmesan cool for at least 10 minutes before serving. Eggplant Parmesan can be covered and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or frozen for up to 3 months.