Eggplant Parmesan is one of my favorite cozy dishes to make for a dinner party because it’s delicious, filling, and serves many people. However, there are many components to it and it can get time consuming. If you don’t have a lot of time to dedicate to this, you can definitely make the components at different times or make some shortcuts (e.g. sauce in a jar).
Sweating the eggplant isn’t imperative but it gives the eggplant a nice creamy texture, (if you don’t have time, don’t sweat it). I like to bake AND fry the eggplant because it makes it super crispy without it being too oily but you don't have to do both if you're short on time.