Eggplant is a wonderful ingredient and a favorite in our Italian home. We have taken our classic Parmigiana and deconstructed it in the most beautiful way. Stacked with layers of rich sauce, mozzarella, Parmigiano, and buttery melt in your mouth eggplant rounds. Want to change your eggplant game? Try this No Breadcrumbs Eggplant Parmigiana Stacks!
Song of the day: "Magnolia'" by Negrita.
From Classic to amazing No breadcrumbs Eggplant Parmigiana!
I fell in love with Nicoletta's Parmigiana on my first trip to Italy. Now my love for this has gone deeper as we have changed it up a bit! Come with us into our kitchen, and let us show you how to make this delectable, and scrumptiously cheesy, rich, eggplant dish!
Let's make the tomato sauce!
The sauce for these stacks is easy. Just four ingredients and you are going to create the richest sauce you have ever tasted. Here are the ingredients:
- 1 bottle of Passata
- extra virgin olive oil
- dried chilis (peperoncino)
- fresh basil
The 15 minute tomato sauce!
I remember the days my parents would have sauce simmering on the stove for hours. Don't get me wrong, it was an exceptional sauce. Sweet, rich in that thick pulp. However, time is always a factor and after tasting Nicoletta's sauce I was sold. It only takes roughly 15-20 minutes and the flavor you will not forget, I assure you! This is how we do it:
- Firstly, drizzle olive oil into a medium cast pot. Peel and press garlic and throw it in. Add in crushed dried red chili flakes.
- Secondly, turn on heat and get the garlic sizzling and that oil all flavored up. Pour in passata and give it a stir. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Lastly break in some fresh basil leaves. Partially cover turn heat to a low setting and let simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until thickened.
- Remember, give it a stir occasionally to make sure it isn't sticking to the bottom of the pan. That's it. Easy breezy right?
While the sauce simmers, time to deal with the other ingredients!
Cooking is all about time management, and multi tasking. So we have the sauce simmering and have some time so we can get the other ingredients ready. Take note.
The Cheeses for our No Breadcrumbs Eggplant Parmigiana Stacks:
Two cheeses is what makes this dish what it is. Totally cheesy, lol! Parmigiano Reggiano, grated finely, and fresh mozzarella, cut into thin medallions!
- Now drizzle some olive oil in a sauté pan. Bring to medium to high heat and place the eggplant rounds in. You may have to do it in two-three batches. When the eggplant turns nice and golden on one side, flip, and do the same for the other side.
- Place the golden eggplant rounds on a baking sheet lined with paper towel. This is going to take any excess oil out of the equation!
Building the stacks
This is the fun part, building the stacks. Let's get started. Pre-heat the oven to 390 degrees F:
- We want to get some sauce on the bottom of a rectangular baking dish. Then lay out six or seven of the sautéed eggplant rounds on top of the sauce.
- Those all get a slathering of more sauce with a spoon. Give a nice sprinkle of grated Parmigiano, and finally a piece of mozzarella.
- Repeat this until you have four layers stacked.
Topping the stacks
To finish the stacks we spoon some sauce on top, and sprinkle of Parmigiano, the fresh mozzarella medallion, and the finishing touch, a fresh basil leaf on each one.
Lastly, place the baking dish into the middle rack of the oven. Bake until cheese is melted and golden about 25 minutes. Take it out of the oven and more so, let it sit for 10 minutes, or longer is better, as it firms up nicely!
No Breadcrumbs Eggplant Parmigiana Stacks, a thing of beauty!
Look at the color, the beautiful melted cheese. The aroma backs this picture with nothing but love. I have to say serving these stacks is so easy. No cutting or preportioning, just you and a spatula and a little hand work. It presents beautifully!
A flavor and texture you will never forget.
In the end, I love how rich the sauce is and how it compliments the buttery flavor of the eggplant. Also, the cheese offers a wonderful luxuriousness! The eggplant just melts in your mouth as the sauce dances around you palate. Your going to love this dish.
Want to bring some Italian into your kitchen or wow you dinner guests? This No Breadcrumb Eggplant Parmigiano Stacks will fit that bill to no end. It is a favorite of ours and may become one of yours too!
Variations on a Parmigiana
- Chicken Parmigiana, an Italian American Classic
- Delicious Skillet Fingerling Potato Parmigiana
- Eggplant Parmigiana Pizza
- Parmigiana di zucchine (Zucchini Parmigiana)
For the sauce:
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 large tin 798ml of San Marzano tomatoes D.O.P. or about 500ml tomato passata
- a few leaves of fresh basil
- 1 clove of garlic
- pinch of chili flakes
- salt and pepper
For the Parmigiana:
- 1 large eggplant, at least 2.5-inch diameter by 9-inch length
- ⅓ cup of grated Parmigiano Reggiano
- 1 large fresh mozzarella or bocconcini
- a few more basil leaves
- In a medium pot, drizzle in olive oil, squish the garlic and toss in, and also add a pinch of red chili flakes. Swish the oil around the pan and turn on heat to medium.
- Once the garlic sizzles, lower the heat, add the pureed San Marzano or the passata and a little water that you have swished around in the empty jar. Add a couple basil leaves. Season with salt and pepper.
- Keep the heat on low and simmer the sauce, partially covered, for 15-20 minutes or until thickened. Turn off heat, taste for seasoning and adjust. Set aside.
- Grate the Parmigiano and cut the mozzarella into rounds. Set aside.
- Wash and cut the eggplant into rounds about ⅛ of an inch thick. If you prefer, you can peel the eggplant, however the skin helps keep the rounds intact.
- Drizzle oil into a saute pan, bring to medium heat, and pan-fry the eggplant rounds till soft and golden on both sides, roughly 3 minutes a side. Place on a paper towel-lined plate and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 390°F.
- Add some sauce at the bottom of a 9x14 inch baking dish.
- Start building the stacks: place one eggplant round at the bottom of the dish with the sauce, top with a little sauce, a sprinkle of Parmigiano and the mozzarella round. Repeat this to form four layers per stack. To finish the top, some sauce, Parmigiano, mozzarella with a basil leaf.
- Repeat for all the stacks, you should have 5, 6, or 7 stacks depending on your eggplant size.
- Place in the middle rack of the preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until cheese melts and become golden.
- Take out of oven and let rest for 10 minutes or more to set up.
Eggplant Parmigiana the more it sits the more flavorful and firm it becomes. The next day it is even better.
Store in the refrigerator and reheat in the oven.
You might have some sauce leftovers. Perfect to dress some pasta. You can also add some at the bottom of the plate, when serving the stacks, good for bread dipping. Also, you could sprinkle some more Parmigiano on top when serving.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Category: Main, Vegetarian
- Method: Baking/Stovetop
- Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: eggplant, Italian classic, Parmigiana, Mozzarella, Italian comfort food, Tomato sauce ,Parmigiano Reggiano, Baked, Cheesy,
When I am not cooking, I enjoy playing musical instruments, singing, writing. I have learned over the years to live in gratitude and enjoy the moment.