Dianne’s Eggplant Parm with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Image courtesy of Dianne T.

The lovely Dianne is back again today with her low-sodium take on this vegetarian favorite.  I for one cannot WAIT to try this!  If you’re able to find low-salt Cheddar, it will significantly lower the sodium per serving (from 161 mg per serving down to a mere 65!!) Dianne writes: Sometimes I omit the basil or only add a little. I’m not a big fan of sauces with a lot of basil and this dish has sooo many great flavors – I’ll let you decide what you would like to do. This is a yummy dish and just the sauce alone is excellent too… Enjoy!!!

Serves 12.

SODIUM CONTENT: 161 mg per serving


Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Sauce:
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
3 large roasted red peppers, peeled, seeded and chopped
2 (28-ounce) cans no salt/low sodium plum tomatoes and their juices, crushed with your hands
1 (28-ounce) can no salt/low sodium crushed tomatoes
3 tablespoons freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley
3 tablespoons freshly chopped basil leaves (sometimes I omit or put 1 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon freshly chopped oregano leaves
1/4-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
Freshly ground black pepper

5 cups unsalted breadcrumbs
Unsalted Butter, for greasing the dish
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano leaves
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
6 large eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons water
2 to 3 medium eggplants (about 2 1/4-pounds), cut into 1/2-inch-thick round slices (need about
18 slices)
All-purpose flour, for dredging
Vegetable oil, for frying
Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Sauce
6 oz. fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced (if you put in freezer to firm up it’s easier to slice thinly)
1 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
Fresh basil leaves, torn (I omit this)


Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until soft. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for 1 minute. Add the red peppers
and cook for 1 minute.

Add the tomatoes, bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a food processor and process until smooth. Return the mixture back to the pot, add the parsley, basil and oregano and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 10 minutes longer.

Directions for the Eggplant:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly butter the bottom and sides of a 15 by 10 by 2-inch baking dish and set aside.

Place the bread crumbs into a large shallow bowl. Add the herbs and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. In another medium shallow bowl, whisk the eggs and 2 tablespoons of water together.

Season each eggplant slice on both sides with pepper. Dredge each eggplant slice in the flour, tapping off excess, then dip it in the egg, and finally dredge it in the bread crumb mixture. Shake
off any excess breading and transfer the eggplant to a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining eggplant.

Heat 1/2-inch of oil in 2 large straight-sided saute pans over medium heat until the oil reaches a temperature of 385 degrees F. Working in small batches, fry a few of the eggplant slices, turning once, until golden brown, about 3 minutes per batch. Using tongs, transfer to a paper towel-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining eggplant.

Cover the bottom of the prepared baking dish with some of the tomato sauce and arrange 1/2 of the eggplant over the sauce. Cover the eggplant with some of the sauce, fresh mozzarella,
cheddar and some of the basil. Repeat to make 2-3 layers ending with the sauce. Top with the fresh mozzarella and remaining cheddar and bake until hot and just beginning to brown, about
30 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy all by itself or with your favorite pasta!

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