Eggplant Parmesan

I love eggplant!  It’s such a meaty vegetable that can go in so many things, and I’m trying hard to sneak veggies into more and more things these days.  Let’s face it, wedding and bathing suit season has officially begun!   Maybe I haven’t officially accepted that statement though because I added Italian Sausage to the tomato sauce.  I know, I know…but it just made the meal soooo good!  I actually changed this recipe a lot seeing how it called for the eggplant to be grilled and then individually stacked up.  I went the lazy route and did the eggplant in the oven and then baked the dish like a casserole.  With the sausage in there it makes it more substantial and a very satisfying dish. 

Eggplant Parmesan

adapted from the Grilled Eggplant Parmesan recipe from Epicurious.com

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried hot red-pepper flakes
  • 1 (15-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 ounce finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1/4 cup)
  • 1 eggplant sliced
  • 16 thin slices whole-milk mozzarella (from a 1-lb block; not fresh)
  • 1/2 lb. ground Italian sausage
  • Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat until hot but not smoking, then cook garlic and red-pepper flakes, stirring, 30 seconds.  Add sausage and saute until browned.  Add tomatoes and salt and cook, stirring, until thickened, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in basil and parmesan.

    Preheat the oven to 450.  Trim off the ends of eggplant and cut into slices.   Brush slices with olive oil.

    Place eggplant slices on a sheet pan and bake 20mins, turning once half way inbetween.  Turn the oven down to 350.

    Use about a 5 qt. baking dish and place slices of eggplant on the bottom of the dish.  Top with sausage and tomato sauce until it covers the eggplant and place slices of mozzarella on top of sauce.  Repeat layers ending with the mozzarella covering the top of the dish.  Bake about 20mins and then turn the oven to broil and bake for another couple of minutes until your cheese browns.

     

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