Tiliapia Parmigiana Made with Leftovers - Easy

If you stare hard enough, this looks like a map of Europe.

This is one of my more interesting recipes.  Not because it is the best fish Parmigiana up with which I ever came (dangling participles are a pet peeve of mine), but because it is made entirely from leftovers.  The marinara sauce was from a batch ladled over plain ol' pasta the other day.  The fish was the remains of Monday's lunch (youngerSon had already returned to college but from habit I'm still purchasing for a crowd).  The mozzarella was the remains of a too-large block previously and partially used for Lazy Lasagna.

According to that quality Italian food source, Wikipedia, Parmigiana is a dish of fried filling layered with tomato sauce and cheese.  Most people (and by most I mean me) call it by the Americanized name of [fill in the blank] Parmesan.  Which makes no sense when you think about it since traditionally Parmigiana calls for mozzarella cheese and optionally sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.  To be more confusing, the "parm" in "parmigiana" refers to Parma in Northern Italy, but  Parmigiana is a Southern Italian dish, claimed by both Campania and Sicily.  

Note -- as you will notice in the photos, I was trying to use up all the leftover marinara and dumped too much over the fish.  The correct amount is stated in the ingredients list.

I like how this fish dish tasted, even if I cheated and used baked, rather than fried, fish.  Maybe I shoulda called it Parmigiana-ish.

Tilapia Parmigiana Made with Leftovers - Easy
Serves 4

1 tsp. butter or cooking spray
4 tilapia fillets, baked or fried
1 cup marinara sauce (or any smooth pasta sauce)
6-8 ozs. mozzarella cheese, sliced or shredded
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (optional)

I  took the slice route.

Preheat oven to 450F.  Lightly grease a small rimmed baking pan (9 x 12 or so) with butter or cooking spray.  Place tilapia fillets in a single layer in pan.  Pour marinara sauce over fish.  Attempt to evenly cover fish with the mozzarella cheese.

Bake in oven on center rack for 10 minutes, or until cheese melts and starts to bubble.  If the cheese hasn't browned, don't continue baking since the previously cooked fish will overcook.  Instead, crank up oven to broil and move pan to top rack for another minute or until cheese browns to your liking.

Serve immediately, optional sprinkled with Parmesan cheese. 


I love the idea of using fish instead of pasta! Can't wait to try it, especially since I already have all the ingredients at home :)

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