Eggplant Parm.

I just found out that today is National Pasta Day.

I love pasta. I could not live without pasta.

I should be making pasta for national pasta day.

But, I confess. I’m not.

Because the only thing I will say yes to over pasta is what’s for dinner tonight.

Eggplant Parm.

When I was a kid, there were two things I would not eat. Meatloaf and eggplant parm. I thought the eggplant looked weird. And meatloaf? I still won’t touch that.

But I did eventually try the eggplant and find a love for it.

So now given the choice between pasta and eggplant, sorry pasta, it’s all about the parm tonight.

Eggplant parm is one of those dishes you have to mentally prepare yourself to make. It’s not really an itty bitty city kitchen weeknight one pot wonder.

In fact, it’s kind of a big mess.

But it is totally worth it.

I should clarify by saying that it’s not hard. But there are multiple steps involved. And there’s frying. Hence the mess.

Your ingredient list is simple though:

  • eggplant, peeled and sliced into discs
  • eggs, beaten into an egg wash
  • flour, for dunking the eggplant,
  • vegetable oil, for frying
  • gravy (see here for mom’s recipe or use jarred)
  • mozzarella

Get a big frying pan and add enough oil to cover the bottom.

Set up a dredging assembly line with eggplant, egg wash, flour and frying pan.

Get ready to stand here for a while. Turn the game on. Or better yet, an episode of Sex and the City.

So the eggplant goes into the egg wash, then into the flour and then into the oil in the frying pan.


Fry the eggplant in batches. You want the heat at about medium and you don’t want to crowd the pan. You’re going to keep things moving by taking the dredged eggplant into the oil, flipping it to brown on both sides, and the placing it into a gravy-lined baking dish.


Like so.


That’s about the color you want on your eggplant. You want the slices slightly browned, softened, but not cooked to mush.

Continue frying until the eggplant is all cooked and your baking dish is full. (I used two eggplants, because if I’m going to go through the process, I might as well make enough for leftovers. This is one of those things that’s better the next day.



Top the eggplant with gravy.


Then top the gravy with mozzarella.


Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 30-40 minutes. You want the cheese to melt and for all the flavors to meld together.


Dad hates that I decided to try eggplant. He doesn’t get as many leftovers as he did when I thought it looked weird


Eggplant Parm Pie

The only thing I love more than my mom’s meatballs is her eggplant parm.

If you’ve only eaten eggplant parm out at a restaurant, you have never eaten eggplant parm.

Sorry restaurants. But mom’s will win every time.

Bobby Flay should really come do a Throwdown with my mom.

Here’s the thing about her eggplant though. It’s a process. Totally worth it in the end, but it involves a lot of time over a hot stove. First you make the gravy, then you fry the eggplant in batches, then you layer the gravy and the eggplant in a casserole dish, then you top with cheese, then you bake for an hour, and then, during that hour, you clean your grease-splattered stove.

In the summer, my itty bitty city kitchen is ridiculously hot.

So no thanks.

But I was thinking about eggplant. And so I came up with this. It’s not at all the same thing as mom’s, but it’s quick and it’s light.

Think of it as the summertime cousin to mom’s cheesy, melty, tray of eggplant wonderfulness.

A sort of quichey, eggplant pie.

You will need

4 eggs

1 eggplant

1 tomato

1 heaping scoop ricotta cheese


splash of milk

olive oil



butter for the dish

Turn your oven to 400.

Peel the eggplant and slice into discs. The more even the width, the more evenly they will bake.

Lay them on a foil-lined cookie sheet.


Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast for about twenty minutes. IMG_0727

When the eggplant is nice and browned up, remove from the oven and set the slices aside. Slice up the tomato in rounds and place on the foil-lined sheet you just removed the eggplant from. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper, and roast for about ten minutes.


This recipe sounds a little lengthy, but to me roasting time isn’t really cooking time. I throw things in the oven and forget about them for a little bit, taking the time to unwind after a long day or to swiffer the floors or to do some previously neglected tasks. Like paying the bills. While the tomatoes roast is the perfect time to pay the bills.

When the tomatoes are done, butter a baking dish or pie pan. I’ve extolled the virtues of my pie pan before. Namely, that it is dishwasher safe. So between the foil-lined cookie sheet and the pan that goes in the dishwasher, this is a no cleanup necessary dinner.

Line the bottom of your pan with eggplant.


Next add a lawyer of tomatoes.


Top with the remaining eggplant.


In a small bowl, beat together the eggs, a splash of milk and a scoop of ricotta cheese. This is serving as the parmigiana part of the dish.IMG_0744

Pour the mix over the eggplant and tomatoes and then top with mozzarella.IMG_0745

Lower the oven to 350 and bake for 45 minutes. Again, a long baking time, but there’s very little active cooking time in this recipe. There’s a lot of hang out, put your feet up, sip some wine and let the smells fill the apartment time.

Remove from the oven when the eggs are set.

Slice up and serve with a side salad and some crusty bread.

It’s not mom’s but it does the trick.

For now.