Rachael Ray's Eggplant Steaks Parmigiana

Here's a fun recipe for Eggplant Parmesan. This is from "Rachael Ray's Big Orange Book" and is officially called Eggplant Steaks Parmigiana Alla Ringo. This was actually the second time I have prepared them. Rachael Ray's 30-minute meals tend to be quicker each time I prepare them but I've never fixed one in 30 minutes! This recipe is a bit intense but fun if you've got the extra time and willing to put in a little extra effort for one night. When I brought these for leftovers to work I felt like I was eating official fancy restaurant food not something I had made!!

Ingredients (serves 4)
1/2 cup EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 eggs
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, a generous handful, chopped
1 tsp lemon zest
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped or grated
2 medium, firm eggplants
1 (28-oz) can San Marzano tomatoes
salt + pepper
1/3 cup pesto
1 cup shredded provolone


-Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
-Heat 1/4 cup of the EVOO in a large skillet over medium-high heat
-Line up three shallow dishes on your counter. Add the flour to the first, the eggs to the second, and the bread crumbs, grated cheese, parsley, lemon zest, and garlic to the last. Beat the eggs with a splash of water.
-Cut the top and bottom off the eggplants, slice the skin off of each side, then cut each eggplant lengthwise into 4 steaks, each 1 to 1 1/2 inches thick. Coat all 9 steaks first in the flour, then in the beaten egg, and finally in cheesy bread crumbs.
-Working in 2 batches, brown 4 of the breaded eggplant steaks in the hot oil until golden, about 2 minutes on each side, then lay them on a baking sheet and place in the oven to stay warm. (If you place the eggplant steaks on a wire rack set onto the baking sheet they will get extra crispy.) Wipe out the pan and heat the remaining 1/4 cup of EVOO. Repeat the browning process, then transfer all steaks to the oven and finish cooking through, 10 minutes.
-While the eggplant steaks are in the oven, heat the tomatoes and their juices in a small sauce pot over medium-high heat. Mash up the tomatoes with a potato masher or wooden spoon, season with salt and pepper, and stir in the tomato paste. Once the tomatoes come up to a bubble, simmer for 5 minutes, then remove from the heat. Stir in the pesto.
-Remove the steaks from the oven and switch on the broiler.
-On the baking sheet, stack one eggplant steak topped with a little sauce, then another steak, then another ladle of sauce, and one quarter of the provolone. Make 8 stacks total. Brown the eggplant stacks under the broiler to melt the cheese. Serve 2 stacks per person.

I served with spaghetti and the extra tomato sauce. I had bought a can of plain tomato sauce to serve if I didn't have enough from the recipe but I did have enough.


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