Today’s post is perfect for a Sunday night dinner or even a week’s worth of lunches. Here’s two classic dishes, that happen to be my favorites, and include the two simplest and most amazing Italian ingredients… fresh mozzarella and tomato sauce. These, of course, would be Chicken Parmesan and Eggplant Parmesan. Really cover anything in mozz and bake it in a bed of tomato sauce and you’ve got yourself a meal. Served with over spaghetti or a side salad and it really can’t get any better!
This post should really be called “[Insert Protein Here] Parmesan.
In the mood for these two dishes (on two separate recent occasions, mind you), I decided to try my best to make it all from scratch. I made homemade tomato sauce for the first time and made fresh mozzarella for the second!
Homemade tomato sauce is a great recipe to have in your back pocket. You can make a big batch of it one Sunday (I’d recommend doing so when it’s not sweltering outside) and enjoy it for a couple weeks or even freeze it!
For this tomato sauce, you’ll need:
¼ cup olive oil
1 Spanish onion, diced into ¼ inches
4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
1 tbsp dried thyme
½ medium carrot, finely chopped
2 (28-ounce) cans peeled whole tomatoes, crushed by hand and juices reserved
You’ll want to cook the onion and garlic in olive oil over medium heat in a Dutch oven for about 8 minutes or until soft and golden brown. Add the thyme and carrot and cook 5 more minutes until soft.
Add the tomatoes and bring to a boiling, stirring. Simmer for 30 minutes until thick. Season with salt and pepper and serve!
And these recipes are a great excuse to make fresh mozzarella! You can read more about my first experience making this cheese here.
BTW, in either recipe, store-bought items are totally fine as well! What can I say? I just like a challenge… and doing an endless amount of dishes over the course of one weekend!
But anyway… for Chicken Parm, you’ll want to bread your chicken cutlets – first dipping in your eggs and then your seasoned breadcrumbs. Saute in some olive oil and transfer to a baking dish. Cover with tomato sauce and top with sliced mozzarella cheese. Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees F.
Broil for the last couple minutes to get that cheese nice and golden brown.
And for your Eggplant Parmesan, if you’re more inclined to eat your vegetables, simply roast your eggplants disc at 375 degrees F for 10-15 minutes or until soft.
Then layer the eggplant slices, mozzarella and tomato sauce. I added basil leaves between the mozzarella and eggplant for added flavor. Once you have your stacks, bake in an oven at 400 degrees F for 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted.