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Milk Street Bowtie No-Fry Neapolitan Eggplant Parmesan

No-Fry Neapolitan Eggplant Parmesan

6 to 8 Servings

1¾ hours plus cooling

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At the family-owned trattoria La Tavernetta Vittozzi in Naples, Anna Vittozzi taught us to make a lighter, brighter eggplant Parmesan that still was rich with cheese and tangy with tomato sauce. The secret? Skip the breading. Though the Vittozzi version involved pan-frying eggplant, we found we could achieve similar results by roasting olive oil-brushed slices in the oven. This easier, more hands-off approach yields golden-brown, silky-textured eggplant, perfect for layering with a simple tomato sauce and fresh basil, plus plenty of cheese. In addition to umami-packed Parmesan, the Vittozzis used smoked provolone, which added a delicious depth and savoriness to the dish. Smoked mozzarella might be easier to find in the U.S., and it’s a fine stand-in, as is scamorza cheese. If none of those are options, opt for low-moisture mozzarella cheese but avoid fresh mozzarella, which contains too much water.

6 to 8

Servings

Tip

Don’t peel off all of the skin from the eggplants. Remove the skin in interval strips so the eggplants looked striped. The skin helps hold the flesh together, so if all of it is peeled away, the eggplant slices too easily fall apart after cooking.

1¾ hours

plus cooling

7 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
5 1-pound globe eggplants
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
3 tablespoons salted butter, cut into 3 pieces
8 ounces smoked provolone, smoked mozzarella or smoked scamorza cheese, shredded (2 cups), divided
2 ounces Parmesan cheese, finely grated (1 cup), divided
1 cup lightly packed fresh basil, torn
Ingredients
  • 7

    tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

  • 5

    1-pound globe eggplants

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • 1

    medium yellow onion, finely chopped

  • 1

    28-ounce can crushed tomatoes

  • 3

    tablespoons salted butter, cut into 3 pieces

  • 8

    ounces smoked provolone, smoked mozzarella or smoked scamorza cheese, shredded (2 cups), divided

  • 2

    ounces Parmesan cheese, finely grated (1 cup), divided

  • 1

    cup lightly packed fresh basil, torn

Directions

No-Fry Neapolitan Eggplant Parmesan

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Reviews
Nancy J.
June 17, 2023
Terrific!
This was absolutely delicious. I made 2 minor changes - I minced 2 fat garlic cloves and added them with the onions and added 1/4 t crushed red pepper with the tomatoes. I couldn't find smoked provolone,so I used smoked mozzarella, which was very good. It could only be even more amazing with smoked provolone, so I will try to find it before I make it again. Either the called for amount of eggplant was off or the instruction to only slightly overlap the slices was wrong. I had about 23 slices left over that could not fit on the baking sheets and never would have fit in the baking dish. Next time, I'll either buy less eggplant or overlap them a lot more.
Bill O.
June 2, 2023
Great dish
My wife is a huge eggplant fan and I probably make eggplant parm as often as any other dish. I've done it lots of different ways. I don't know if you can ever beat breaded and fried for flavor. But I try to stay low carb, and this was the best non-breaded recipe I've ever made. I used smoked provolone slices along with shredded smoked mozz. Outstanding, thanks MS
Cheryl C.
May 30, 2023
Oh my god, you're kidding me!!
I can't believe how much flavor this dish has with only a few ingredients!! I'm totally making this again as I purchased too many eggplants. I love this very easy dish!
Scott C.
May 10, 2023
Could be my best eggplant parm ever!
I've made many an eggplant parm. All were good, but most involved a lot of oil and a lot of frying. This recipe does away with all that oil and frying in favor of baking the eggplant (btw; I used three large globe eggplant which were enough). Final product came out sweet, light, and delicious. Will make this my new, go-to recipe. Thanks!
Lauren W.
May 9, 2023
Reviews and your response or lack thereof
You might consider answering reviews. If one is kind enough to write one and has a question (2. Reviews questioned use of 5-1# eggplants), it is the right thing to do, helps the reviewers and the readers of reviews.