Summer Marinara Sauce for Eggplant & Zucchini Parmesan

fresh tomatoes for summer marinara sauce


The two of us living here right now LOVE Eggplant Parmesan and I usually do something similar to this eggplant Parmesan recipe.   I’ve also made zucchini Parmesan. The first time I made that by just frying the zucchini but not breading them first and it definitely lacked a little something, although it was still good. The other night I made a summer marinara sauce with fresh tomatoes and basil from the garden.

I also had a few small Japanese eggplants from the garden that needed using up and LOTS of zucchini, so I combined them. I sliced them all lengthwise, dipped in egg, dipped in bread crumbs and fried, then drained on paper towels.

You can just cook the tomatoes with the skins and fish out large pieces or ignore them. Pop them in some boiling water for a few minutes first and then skin them before chopping.  Or cook everything together and run through a food mill to remove the skins and seeds.  I’ve done them all, depending on how much time and energy I have.

Marinara Sauce from Fresh Tomatoes

If you want, you can peel the tomatoes first by parboiling but I often don’t bother and just fish out the big pieces.

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced or thinly sliced
  • 2 pounds or so fresh Roma tomatoes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 small red chili pepper, diced or some crushed dried red pepper (optional)
  • a handful of basil leaves, torn into pieces
  1. Heat the oil over medium low heat and cook the garlic a few minutes, until softened. If it starts to brown, turn down the heat!
  2. Add the tomatoes and chili pepper and cook at least 20 minutes and up to an hour, stirring periodically.
  3. Add the salt and pepper and basil.

I made pizza the night I made it, then used what was left in this dish.

By the way, if you’ve got a glut of zucchini and/or eggplant, you can bread and fry then flash freeze the slices to make this later.

I’m not giving quantities here for the eggplant or zucchini Parmesan because you can adjust according to how many vegetables you have and how many you’re feeding. Leftovers are GREAT for lunch though!  And as I mentioned, if you have leftover fried slices, just flash freeze them so  you can grab them again later.

Put a bit of sauce in the bottom of a baking dish. Last night I used a 7×11 pan.  Lay the fried zucchini and/or eggplant to cover the dish. Spread more sauce across the top. Lay some grated mozzarella or sliced mozzarella cheese on top. Lay more fried zucchini and/or eggplant, more sauce, more cheese.  I just did two layers last night but have done 3 or 4.  End with mozzarella cheese and then sprinkle some grated Parmesan on top. Bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes. Let rest a few minutes before cutting into it to serve.



  1. I have everything I need to make this. It will be a perfect way to utilize lots of fresh produce. Thanks for the suggestion and recipe guidlines.


  1. […] I’m frying up eggplant or zucchini to make eggplant or zucchini Parmesan, I like to fry up extra and flash freeze the slices. Later, it’s pretty easy to thaw out or […]

  2. […] summer marinara sauce with fresh tomatoes […]

  3. […] I pulled some pizza sauce from the freezer (almost my last!). It was very simple, perhaps based on this sauce. […]

  4. […] you’ve got fresh tomatoes you can make this delightful marinara sauce. Or just use a few cans of canned tomatoes instead. The other night I made a vegetarian pizza with […]


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