Baked Eggplant Marinara (version II)

8 center-cut 1/2-inch-thick eggplant rounds from 2 small eggplants
salt to taste
freshly-ground black pepper to taste
all-purpose flour as needed
2 eggs beaten to blend
1 1/2 cups fresh breadcrumbs (made from crustless french bread)
2 1/2 ounces freshly-grated Parmesan cheese - (3/4 cup)
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 1/4 cup purchased marinara sauce
3/4 cup freshly-grated mozzarella cheese - (3 ounces)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil baking sheet.

Sprinkle eggplant rounds with salt and pepper. Place flour and eggs in separate shallow bowls. Mix breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese in another shallow bowl. Coat eggplant rounds with flour, then eggs, then breadcrumb mixture, patting to adhere.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 4 eggplant rounds to skillet. Cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes per side; transfer to prepared sheet. Repeat with remaining oil and eggplant rounds.

Spread 2 tablespoons ricotta cheese over each round. Top each with sauce and mozzarella cheese, dividing equally. Bake until rounds are heated through and cheese is melted, about 15 minutes.

This recipe yields 8 first-course servings.

Can make ahead of time and refrigerated, and then reheat it before serving.



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