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    Nothing could be easier to make than Aunt Rosie’s Eggplant Parmesan
    • April 2, 2023

    By Carla Vigos

    Laguna Woods Globe

    My Aunt Rose was a key influence for me at the beginning of my love of cooking. My mother died unexpectedly when I was 20, and even though I was always her sous chef, I never had the recipes because she cooked without them.

    My Aunt Rose, who never had children, became my teacher. She taught me how to make sauces, beans, marinated crab, lentils, fava and pasta, chicken soup, baked chicken and so much more.

    She also showed me a simpler eggplant parmesan without all the typical breading. She did fry her eggplant first, but I altered it to a healthier version by baking the eggplant before adding the toppings. I make a simple marinara, but you can buy your favorite pasta sauce instead.

    Carla Vigos, Laguna Woods Globe cooking columnist
    (Courtesy photo)

    Laguna Woods Globe cooking columnist Carla Vigos’ Aunt Rose made eggplant parmesan with both parmesan and mozzarella cheese.
    (Photo by Jeff Sinclair)



    Aunt Rosie’s Eggplant Parmesan


    2 pounds of eggplant

    Olive oil


    1 cup grated parmesan, plus more for serving

    2 cups shredded mozzarella


    1 tablespoon olive oil

    3/4 cup diced onion

    16 ounces tomato sauce

    1/2 teaspoon dried basil

    1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

    1/2 teaspoon sugar

    1/4 teaspoon pepper

    1/2 teaspoon salt


    Spray a ri

    mmed baking or cookie sheet with oil. Peel eggplant with a vegetable peeler and cut into 1/4 inch slices. Brush with olive oil on both sides and a sprinkling of salt. You might need two baking sheets.

    Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, then turn eggplant over and bake for 10 more minutes. You want them soft but tinged with a little color.

    Meanwhile, make your marinara. In a saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of oil on medium low heat, add onion and cook until soft. Add the rest of the sauce ingredients, cover and cook on a low simmer for 20 minutes. Let sauce cool a bit before assembly.

    I use an 8×11 baking pan for two layers of eggplant. Spread some sauce to thinly cover the bottom of the pan.

    Place a layer of eggplant in the pan and spoon sauce onto each slice. Next, sprinkle half the parmesan and half the mozzarella on the first layer. Repeat for the second layer.

    Bake at 350 degrees covered with foil for 20 minutes and then 10 minutes with the foil off. Let it rest for 10 minutes before serving. Top with extra parmesan and crushed red pepper if desired.

    This makes four servings. It’s great reheated in a microwave or to make a hot or cold eggplant sandwich.

    For questions or comments, email me at [email protected].

    ​ Orange County Register