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Classic Eggplant Parmesan

 
This is one of the first meals I ever learned to cook and it is still my all-time favorite.  This recipe makes a large 9×13 casserole and it makes a great freezer meal!
 
Ingredients:
1 lb. spagetti
1 jar of your favorite spagetti sauce ( I like prego:)
16 oz. shredded cheese
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1 large fresh eggplant (peeled and sliced into 3/4 inch rounds)
1 cup seasoned breadcrumbs ( I like progresso italian)
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 cup vegetable oil
 
1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Boil 1lb spagetti according to box, drain and spread in the bottom of a 9x 13 baking dish
2. Heat about a 1/3 inch vegetable oil in bottom of large frying pan until hot, but not smoking.  You are only pan frying, so you may need to add more oil halfway through cooking all the eggplant.  Just keep an eye on the level and the temperature. 
3.  Prepare a breading station.  Place breadcrumbs in one shallow bowl and whisk together eggs and milk in another shallow bowl.
4.  Dip eggplant slices in egg wash first, then coat completely in breadcrumbs. 
5.  Place eggplant in hot oil and pan-fry until brown on both sides.  If the eggplant or oil begins to burn, turn down the heat and add a little more oil.
6.  Frying in batches, transfer cooked eggplant to plate and add more eggplant until all pieces are cooked. 
7.  Layer sliced eggplant, side by side, on top of cooked pasta.  You may have extra left over.
8.  Pour entire jar of spagetti sauce over top of eggplant, using a spoon to spread evenly and cover all corners.
9.  Sprinkle shredded cheese on top of spagetti sauce and then sprinkle on parmesan cheese.  I sometimes sprinkle extra basil and oregano on top as well
10.  Bake at 400 degrees for 40-50 minutes until hot, brown and bubbly. 
 
Serve with large tossed salad and hot garlic bread!
 
SOOOOOO GOOOOD! 
 
You can also freeze this dish before baking.  Cook from frozen at 400 degrees for 50-55 minutes until hot and bubbly.
 
Oh, and if you want to freeze the cooked leftovers, I usually wrap them individually in foil and freeze.  When you’re ready, thaw out the eggplant for a few hours and then microwave on high for 1-2 minutes until hot.  You could also bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes to re-heat.  I think it’s even better this way:)
 

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