To many of us, it’s a decision between ordering the lasagna, eggplant parm or chicken parm.
DeLallo has made the decision easy with this Eggplant Parm Lasagna recipe.
If you want to make it a triple-play with chicken parm, add shredded chicken between the layers.
The difference between Parmigiano-Reggiano and parmesan:
“Parmesan” cheeses are made in a variety of countries. But authentic Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese can be produced only in the Italian provinces of Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena, Mantua and Bologna.
There is a huge difference in taste: Parmigiano-Reggiano is more intense and flavorful, parmesan more mild.
Here’s more about Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
DeLallo recommends “sweating” the eggplant to remove as much moisture as possible.
1. SWEAT the eggplant. Simply place the eggplant slices in a colander and sprinkle with kosher salt. Allow the eggplant to set for 30 minutes; then remove it from the colander and pat dry.
2. COMBINE the breadcrumbs, parsley, 1/4 cup of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and a pinch of salt and pepper to taste. Place the breadcrumb mixture, flour and eggs in three separate dishes.
3. BREAD the eggplant. First, dredge the slices in flour, making sure to shake off any excess. Next, dip them into the beaten eggs, making sure to let any excess drip off. Finally, dredge them in the breadcrumb mixture to coat well. Allow the breaded eggplant to rest before frying.
4. HEAT the olive oil in a large saucepan on medium-high heat. Once the oil is ready—which can be determined by tossing in a breadcrumb to see if it sizzles—fry the eggplant until golden. Be sure to turn the slices for even cooking, about 3 minutes per side. Remove the eggplant from the oil and place onto a baking sheet lined with paper towels.
5. PREHEAT the oven to 375˚F. Combine the grated mozzarella, provolone and parmigiano in a mixing bowl.
6. ASSEMBLE the layered dish. Spread about 1/2 cup of the marinara sauce over the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch casserole dish. Nest layer with the breaded eggplant, allowing pieces to slightly overlap. Top with 1 cup of marinara. If using chicken, add the shredded chicken on top of the marinara. Either way, next cover evenly with the cheese mixture. Repeat this layering process two more times.
7. COVER assembled dish with foil and bake for about 30 minutes, or until bubbling. Uncover, then bake to fully melt cheese for another 5 minutes. Let stand for 15 minutes and serve.
1. Use no-boil noodles. Sure, they aren’t quite “old school,” but no-boil noodles make for the ultimate dish of lasagna. While no-boil noodles definitely require a little more sauce (they absorb more liquid when cooking), your cooked noodles will retain a better al dente texture. Besides, it’s a great way to save time.
2. Strain the ricotta. Who likes a runny lasagna? The number one cause of drippy lasagna (besides cutting into it too quickly) is wet ricotta. Strain your ricotta with cheesecloth or in a fine mesh strainer, before you layer up your baked pasta. Ricotta can be strained for up to 24 hours before using.
3. Add new flavors. Have fun with your lasagna and introduce new flavors. Experiment with different combinations of sauces, meats, vegetables and cheeses. Just keep an eye on how much liquid you’re using. Keep in mind that vegetables cook down and can create a lot of excess liquid. Try roasting or sautéing your veggies prior to layering.
4. Get it brown and bubbly. Don’t forget to remove the foil covering on the lasagna for the last 15-20 minutes of cook time. That will give you a browned top with bubbling cheese.
5. Let it rest. As eager as you may be to cut into that lasagna, you have to wait. Let the lasagna rest, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes to avoid a sloppy mess. Alternatively, you also can make the lasagna a day ahead and reheat it.
*Cook the breasts lightly, since they will be further cooked in the oven.
 Eggplant parmesan lasagna (photo © DeLallo).
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