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Sohla El-Waylly's Eggplant Parmesan Recipe Is Done All in One Pan — and in Just 30 Minutes

“Who doesn’t love eggplant Parmesan? But all that breading, frying and layering can be a lot on a weeknight," says the author of the 'Start Here' cookbook

<p>FRED HARDY II</p> Sohla El-Waylly

FRED HARDY II

Sohla El-Waylly's Eggplant Parmesan recipe

Sohla El-Waylly has a quick fix for any eggplant Parmesan cravings.

“Who doesn’t love eggplant Parmesan? But all that breading, frying and layering can be a lot on a weeknight," says the author of the Start Here cookbook. “This has all those savory Parm-y flavors, but everything happens in one pan and in only 30 minutes."

The trick is to use Japanese eggplant, according to the NYT Cooking star. "It just needs a quick sear before simmering in tomato sauce until tender, then topping with cheese and broil until melty," she says.

Jeremy Kohm/HBO Max Sohla El-Waylly (middle)
Jeremy Kohm/HBO Max Sohla El-Waylly (middle)

El-Waylly suggests pairing the weeknight recipe with pasta, polenta or a crusty loaf of bread to result in meal that "taste like Sunday night at Nonna's."

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Sohla El-Waylly’s Braised Eggplant Parmesan

3 medium Japanese eggplants (about 1¼ lbs. total), tops trimmed and halved lengthwise

1 tsp. kosher salt, divided

5 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided

4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 tsp. crushed red pepper

1 pt. cherry tomatoes

½ cup tap water

4 oz. low-moisture, part-skim mozzarella cheese, torn into ½-in. pieces

1⅓ oz. Parmesan cheese, grated (about ⅓ cup)

⅓ cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves, torn

1. Preheat oven to broil with a rack in center position. Heat a large cast-iron or broiler-proof stainless steel skillet over medium high until barely smoking. While skillet heats, sprinkle cut sides of eggplant with ½ teaspoon of the salt.

2. Add 3 tablespoons of the olive oil to skillet, and swirl to coat. Quickly arrange the eggplant cut-side down in skillet. Use a spatula to firmly press eggplant down; cook, undisturbed, until lightly charred and starting to soften, about 5 minutes.

3. Remove skillet from heat and transfer eggplant to a plate; set aside. Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil to skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and crushed red pepper; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute.

4. Add tomatoes and water to skillet; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, pressing with the back of spatula to burst them, 4 to 6 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining ½ teaspoon salt.

5. Return eggplant to skillet; cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and sauce has thickened slightly, about 5 minutes. (Add more water if skillet looks dry before eggplant is tender.) Taste sauce, and add salt if needed. Remove from heat.

6. Dot top of eggplant with mozzarella, and sprinkle with Parmesan. Transfer to oven, and broil until cheese melts and browns, 2 to 3 minutes. Top with basil; serve immediately

Serves: 4
Active time:
 30 minutes
Total time:
 30 minutes

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