Eggplant Parmesan (version XXVIII)

olive oil spray
2 pounds eggplant or 2-medium
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves minced garlic, or more to taste
3 pounds ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon fresh basil
1 tablespoon fresh oregano
1 pinch cinnamon
1/2 pound mozzarella cheese sliced or grated
2/3 cup parmesan cheese
1/4 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
1 tablespoon olive oil, optional
1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, final topping

Preheat oven to 450F

Cut eggplant in half lengthwise and pierce the cut side in a few places with the tip of a knife. Place cut sides down on a lightly sprayed baking sheet (s) and bake 20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Meanwhile, make sauce. Spray a sauce pan or a small amount of olive oil over medium-low heat and soften the onion, about 3-5 minutes. Add half the garlic and cook until onion is beginning to color. Add the tomatoes, the seasonings (salt through cinnamon) and the remaining garlic. Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 30 to 40 minutes, until the sauce has cooked down and is just beginning to stick to the pan. Taste and adjust seasonings. Remove from heat and let cool slightly; then puree.

When eggplant is cool enough to handle, slice crosswise (into half moons) about 1/4-inch thick.  Spray a 3-quart gratin or baking dish. Spread a spoonful of tomato sauce on the bottom of the baking dish, then add a layer of eggplant slices. Cover with some mozzarella, a thicker layer of sauce, a sprinkling of nonfat Parmesan. Continue in this order, eggplant, mozzarella, sauce, and nonfat Parmesan, finishing up with a lavish layer of sauce, bread crumbs and freshly grated Parmesan.

Optional: drizzle with olive oil . Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until bubbling and beginning to brown, serve.

MENU: crudite with dips; leek or spinach soup; mixed greens salad; fruit cup or a pudding.



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