Contributed by: Chris, WebAdmin. of RecipesNow.com
- 2 pounds eggplant (2 medium)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, approximately
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 or more garlic cloves (to taste), minced or put through a press
- 3 pounds ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped, or three 28-ounce cans, drained and chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt, preferably sea salt, or to taste
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon oregano, or to taste
- Pinch of ground cinnamon
- 1/2 pound skim-milk mozzarella cheese, sliced or grated
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup whole-wheat bread crumbs
Preheat the oven to 450 F. Cut the eggplants in half lengthwise and pierce the cut sides in a few
places with the tip of a knife. Place cut sides down on an oiled baking sheet and bake 20 minutes, until
the eggplant is soft and beginning to shrivel. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
Meanwhile, make the tomato sauce. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium heat in a large,
heavy-bottomed nonstick pan or casserole and add the onion. Sauté, stirring, until the onion
begins to soften, about 3 minutes, and stir in one of the garlic cloves. Continue to cook another few
minutes, until the onion is soft and beginning to color, and stir in the tomatoes, salt, pepper, herbs,
cinnamon and 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 the heat and put through the medium blade of a food mill, or purée in a food processor fitted
with the steel blade.
When the eggplant is cool enough for you to handle, slice crosswise about 1/4 inch thick.
Preheat the oven to 425 F. Oil a 2- or 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 of the
mozzarella, a thicker layer of sauce, and a sprinkling of Parmesan. Continue in this order -- eggplant,
mozzarella, sauce and Parmesan -- finishing up with a lavish layer of sauce, the bread crumbs and
Parmesan. Drizzle on the remaining oil.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until bubbling and beginning to brown, and serve.
Serving Size: Serves 6.