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Twice-baked Eggplant Parmigiana saves time and calories

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Italians traditionally prepare Eggplant Parmigiana by deep frying eggplant slices in olive oil. Not only is this a time-consuming process, it also gives the eggplant a lot of unnecessary fat calories. Making Eggplant Parmigiana using the twice-baked method is a faster and healthier way to create this dish without sacrificing flavor or texture.

Ingredients for four servings:

1 medium-sized eggplant, peeled and sliced in ¼ - ½ inch thick rounds.
1-2 eggs, beaten
2 cups Italian-flavored bread crumbs (or plain bread crumbs with 2 T Italian seasoning)
2 cups marinara sauce
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup olive oil (optional)

Directions:

Heat oven to 350 degrees F
Dip each eggplant slice in the egg and then in the bread crumbs
Place the slices on a parchment paper-covered baking sheet
Brush each slice lightly with olive oil (optional)
Bake until the eggplant slices form a crust
Remove eggplant from oven and allow to cool
Heat the marinara sauce
Place a small amount of the sauce in the bottom of a glass baking dish
Place eggplant slices over sauce
Pour more sauce over each slice and top with shredded mozzarella cheese
Continue layering eggplant, sauce, and cheese. Finish with cheese on the top.
Bake uncovered for approximately 30 minutes

Eggplant Parmigiana can be served hot or at room temperature. It makes a great vegetarian main course or it can be used as a vegetable side dish, especially when served with pasta. It also makes a delicious sandwich on an Italian hard roll.

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