If you have any Italian family recipes, then you know the ingredients and directions can sometimes resemble those that you would receive in an Ikea furniture box. Often times, measurements are left out, ingredients are omitted, and the instructions skip over multiple steps. Some might see this as a roadblock. I like to look at it as a challenge.
I’m guessing this has to do with how Italian recipes were passed down through generations over the years. Before food bloggers, the internet, or even cookbooks, most recipes were transferred from parents to their offspring through watching carefully in the kitchen and taking notes when you could. I am guessing this was one of those recipes and I was excited to give it a try.
If you’d like the choose-your-own-adventure version of this recipe, I’ve included my mom’s handwritten recipe card here. However, if you’d like a little more specificity, I’ve provide the step-by-step instructions I used below. Either way, if you make this recipe, let me know what you think in the comments below.
Active Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour and 15 minutes
- 1 eggplant, sliced thin lengthwise
- 3 eggs
- 1 Tbsp. milk
- garlic powder
- dried parsley
- salt & pepper
- 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
- 1 c. plain bread crumbs
- 1 c. grated parmesan cheese
- 1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil for frying
- 8 oz. ricotta cheese
- mozzarella cheese, grated
- 1 1/2 c. store-bought tomato sauce
- fresh basil for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Place your flour in a separate plate or pie dish.
- Beat 2 eggs with milk, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp parsley, and 1/4 tsp of each salt and pepper in a shallow bowl that will be big enough to dip your eggplant in. A pie dish works great for this.
- Combine breadcrumbs and 1/2 c. parmesan cheese and place on a plate or in a pie dish.
- Slice your eggplant fairly thin, about 1/4 inch or less.
- Bread eggplant slices by dipping in flour, then egg mixture, then breadcrumbs.
- Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat.
- Fry the breaded eggplant, not crowding the pan, until golden brown on each side or about 2-3 minutes per side.
- Transfer cooked eggplant to a plate lined with paper towels while you finish frying the rest of the eggplant. Set aside.
- Mix remaining 1/2 c. parmesan cheese with ricotta, 1/2 the mozzarella, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp parsley, 1 beaten egg, salt, and pepper.
- Lay your eggplant on a flat work surface and add a couple of tablespoons of the cheese mixture to one end of the eggplant. Roll the eggplant like a jellyroll and place in a baking dish seam side down. Repeat with remaining eggplant.
- Top each with 1/4 c. sauce, remaining mozzarella, and a sprinkle more of parmesan.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes or until bubbly.
- Serve with pasta and salad. Mangia!