Tuscan Inspired Eggplant Parmesan
Congratulations to Mary Shivers, our 2nd place winner in the 2023 recipe contest! Mary's Tuscan Inspired Eggplant Parmesan is a flavorful Italian delight. This dish features eggplant slices seasoned with salt, coated in a crispy mixture of flour, Panko breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, our Tuscan rub, and garlic powder, then fried to perfection in olive oil. Layered with Bella Sun Luci Tomato & Artichoke Pasta Sauce and Sun Dried Tomatoes, it's a true taste straight from Tuscany.
Total Cook Time: 30 minutes
Bella Products Used:
- 2 medium eggplant, 1-inch trimmed from each end then each sliced into ½-inch thick rounds (you will need 12 slices)
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 (8.5 oz.) jar Bella Sun Luci Julienne Cut Sun Dried Tomatoes in Olive Oil with Italian Herbs, divided use
- 25 oz. jar Bella Sun Luci Tomato & Artichoke Pasta Sauce
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 cup all-purpose flour, divided use
- 2 cups Panko
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tbsp Bella Sun Luci Sun Dried Tomato Tuscan Rub
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ cup Bella Sun Luci California Estate Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided use
- 4 oz. finely shredded mozzarella cheese
- 10 large fresh basil leaves, snipped
- Sprinkle eggplant slices on both sides with salt. Place on a paper-towel lined plate for 15 minutes. Rinse and pat dry.
- Meanwhile, remove 36 julienne cut sun dried tomatoes in olive oil with Italian herbs from jar and reserve for later use.
- Put remaining contents of jar in a food processor. Add pasta sauce and pulse until sun dried tomatoes are finely chopped.
- Place in a large saucepan and heat over low heat, stirring occasionally, keeping warm until serving time.
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a shallow bowl, stir together egg and water.
- Place ½ cup of flour in a pie plate.
- In a medium bowl, stir together remaining flour, Panko, Parmesan cheese, Tuscan Rub, and garlic powder.
- In a large skillet, heat ¼ cup of oil over medium high heat.
- Dip eggplant slices first in flour, then in egg wash, then in Panko mixture, completely coating each time.
- Fry 6 slices at a time for 2-3 minutes per side until golden brown, turning once.
- Remove to a large wire baking rack over a drip pan. Wipe out skillet and add remaining oil. Repeat steps for remaining 6 eggplant slices. Bake for 10 minutes.
- Remove from oven. Add 1 tablespoon pasta sauce mixture on each slice. Divide mozzarella onto each. Arrange 3 reserved julienne cut sun dried tomato slices on each.
- Return to oven for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.
- To serve, divide remaining pasta sauce mixture onto 4 serving plates. Arrange 3 eggplant slices on each. Sprinkle with snipped basil leaves for garnish. Serve immediately.