Lasagnette of Eggplant and Goat Cheese

about 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil and 3 tablespoon garlic oil
2 cups diced red bell pepper (1/4-inch dice)
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 cups diced red onion (1/4-inch dice)
gray salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 can (28 ounces) whole tomatoes, chopped
1-1/2 cups double-strength stock
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil

Pour the olive oil into a large skillet to a depth of 1 inch and place over medium-high heat until hot, about 350 F. Meanwhile, season the flour with the pepper (since the eggplant is salted, no more is necessary). Dredge the slices in the flour and fry, turning once, until browned, about 2 minutes total. Drain on paper towels. The oil should be hot enough to bubble gaily while the eggplant is cooking. Add more oil as necessary to maintain the oil at a depth of about 1 inch.

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Spread a thin layer of the tomato sauce in the bottom of a 2-1/2-quart baking dish. A shallow dish (about 2 inches deep) is best. Arrange a layer of eggplant in the dish to cover the bottom completely. Spoon on another layer of sauce, and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan, 1 tablespoon of the parsley, and dot with one-third of the chabis. Repeat the layering twice, beginning with eggplant and ending with chabis. Do not press down on the layers. Top with the remaining eggplant and then another thin layer of sauce. Sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan (you should have about 3 tablespoons), parsley (about 2 tablespoons), and the breadcrumbs. (The dish can be made to this point a day ahead, covered and refrigerated. Return to room temperature before baking, or add another 10 minutes or so if baking straight from the refrigerator.)

Bake until browned and bubbling, about 30 minutes. Do not over-brown. Let rest a few minutes before cutting into squares to serve.

You will be glad to have leftover lasagnette. Just reheat it in a slow oven or cover and microwave. If you have any leftover sauce, refrigerate it and use as an addition to soups, stews, or pasta sauce. If you have used a deeper baking dish, you will need to determine if the lasagnette is hot in the middle. Use an old chef's trick: Insert a knife or metal skewer into the center of the dish, then withdraw it and lay it on your tongue. If it is hot, the dish is done. (This method is recommended only for those cooks sensible enough not to burn their tongues!)

Serve hot or warm, drizzled with the garlic or basil oil if desired.

Thick Tomato Sauce

Heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil (or 2 tablespoons olive oil and 2 tablespoons garlic oil) in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat until hot. Add the bell pepper and sauti until brown, about 7 minutes. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, if necessary, and the garlic, and cook briefly until light brown. Add the onion and a pinch of salt (if the pan is dry and the ingredients look as if they might burn, adding salt will release the liquid in the onions), and cook until brown, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and stir to mix well.

Add the tomatoes and their juice, the stock, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer the sauce until thick, about 25 minutes. Be sure to stir often to prevent scorching. Add the butter, oregano, parsley, and basil and stir well. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Use immediately, or let cool, cover, and refrigerate for several days, or freeze for up to 1 month.

Serves 6 as a main course, 8 to 10 as an appetizer


Where are the amounts for eggplant and goat cheese?
Anonymous, Location not stated.

what is chabis?
heather, Location not stated.

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