Stuffed Eggplant (version XVI)

Eggplant Shells
2 cups plain bread crumbs
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons cracked pepper
2 eggplants sliced lengthwise into 12 1/2, (2 to inch thick slices
3 eggs, slightly beaten in flat dish large enough to dip eggplant
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
1 pound fresh ricotta cheese
1/2 cup fresh basil, trimmed and chopped
1/4 cup parsley, trimmed and chopped
1/4 cup scallion, trimmed and chopped
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 cup minced onion
4 ounces tomato paste
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons minced fresh oregano, or 2 teaspoons dried
2 cups coarsely chopped tomatoes, seeded
3/4 cup dry red wine
1/8 cup granulated sugar
1 cup shredded mozzarella for browning on top

Mix together bread crumbs, salt and pepper. Dip each slice of eggplant into egg and then dredge in bread crumbs, salt and pepper. Dip each slice of eggplant into egg and then dredge in bread crumbs to coat. Set aside on waxed paper.

Heat oil in large sauté pan over medium-high heat and add garlic. Sauté garlic until it begins to brown. Fry eggplant slices in batches until browned on both sides, very pliable and somewhat soft. About 6 minutes on each side. Remove to waxed paper.

Combine all filling ingredients and beat with a fork for about 1 minute to fluff. Place a dollop of the filling on the bottom of each slice of eggplant and roll up each piece. Wooden toothpicks may be used to fasten, but with a little care and the aid of a flat spatula this can be avoided. Arrange rolls on baking dish.

Heat oil in saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and onion and stir about 5 minutes or until onion is soft and starts to turn golden. Reduce heat to medium and stir in tomato paste, basil, oregano and tomato. Return heat to medium-high and slowly stir in wine. Reduce heat to medium when mixture begins to bubble and sprinkle sugar on top. Stir to mix and remove from heat. Pour sauce over eggplant and top with shredded mozzarella cheese. Place in oven on highest setting until cheese bubbles and begins to brown, about 7 minutes. Serve immediately.

Serves 6.

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