Bacon Eggplant Parmigiana Express

Our family noche buena is usually a potluck party at my parents' place. And like the years before, it will be a simple dinner with just our immediate family. I don't cook during special occasions, unless requested or if I am in the mood, hahaha... most of the time I order what I will serve. I actually ordered Eggplant Parmigiana, one of my contributions for noche buena, as suggested by my caterer-friend. It was a coincidence that I was already planning to share my first "imbento parmigiana" recipe today. This last recipe post for the year is a delicious Italian dish that is festive enough to serve during special occasions.

When I say imbento, I mean I did not follow anyone's recipe. Chop-chop lang ito of what I've gathered and tried before, and added the magical bacon into my layers, heehee. =)  While I've ordered this cheesy dish in restaurants, it is my first time to make this at home coz most recipes I found online called for more cooking steps before you assemble the ingredients in a tray. I simply had no time...best for me is around 1 hour or less. This took a little over an hour from prep to finished product but I made the effort kasi I'm in the mood for this one talaga, inspired by the instant sauces I have. 

Since I received a big basket of fine Contadina products -- which included pasta, olive oil, and assorted bottled sauces, it gave me the confidence to create this Italian dish knowing I can cut down on the cooking time and use less ingredients. Plus, I found a couple of beautiful aubergine, the small dark pear-shaped ones, in the supermarket the other week, kaya sign na yan that I can proceed to make this dish.  Naks! I am just doing a square 8"x8" pan para trial size muna.


2 eggplants, sliced thinly into 18 rounds
9 strips of bacon (or as many as you like!)
1 bottle Contadina Napoletana Pasta Sauce
1 bottle Contadina Formaggio Pasta Sauce
1 bottle Contadina Pesto sauce
8 slices of mozarella cheese
1 1/2 cups grated parmesan cheese
1 cup panko (bread crumbs) mixed with dried oregano and grated parmesan cheese
Contadina olive oil
8"x8" baking pan / glass tray

To prepare:
Pre-heat oven to 200°C (400°F)
Place sliced eggplant on a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil
Layer the bacon strips on a separate tray (or just combine them like what I did -- if you count them, I lacked a few slices coz it didn't fit in my tray!)
Roast the eggplant and bacon in the oven for 15 minutes - flip eggplant slices midway to cook other side
While it's roasting, mix 4 tablespoons each of the pasta sauce in the baking pan and spread at the bottom.
Mix a second batch in a bowl - 4 tablespoons each of the same sauces, set aside for layering.

To assemble:
  1. Once eggplant and bacon are cooked, layer and assemble in the tray
  2. Place 9 eggplant slices on the tomato sauce base and top each slice with half a teaspoon of pesto
  3. Then put half a strip of bacon on each eggplant slice
  4. Cover with 4 mozarella slices, then half of the grated parmesan cheese and sprinkle 1/3 of the breadcrumbs mixture
  5. Slowly pour the second bowl of sauce mix evenly over the cheese and crumbs
  6. Repeat steps 2 to 4
  7. Cover the top with the rest of the breadcrumbs and grate more parmesan cheese on top
Lower temperature to 180°C and bake for 30 minutes.

By this time, your kitchen will be smelling so good! Imagine that chunky-rich tomato-herb sauce and gooey cheese melting in between layers of roasted eggplant and smokey bacon... delizioso!

It doesn't look picture-perfect, but I guarantee, even if you don't like eggplants, you'll enjoy this hearty dish made even more delectable with the specially blended Contadina pasta sauces. The bottled sauces made cooking faster and easier for me, which means more time to relax and savor my Bacon Eggplant Parmigiana! Do try this and let me know how it goes.

Here's my plate... one delicious mess!

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HAPPY HOLIDAYS and happy cooking with #flavorsofContadina!

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