- Total Time: 1 hours 20 mins
- Hands-on Time: 45 mins
- Makes: 6 servings
A classic comfort dish takes a noodle-less twist using roasted eggplant and tomatoes as the base layers, then spiced with organic garlic powder and thyme. Complete with a quick homemade sauce, this vegetable version still has all the creamy cheesiness you love.
- 3/4 teaspoon Simply Organic Garlic Powder 3.64 oz.
- 3/4 teaspoon Frontier Coarse Sea Salt 5 lb.
- 3/4 teaspoon Simply Organic Thyme Leaf 0.78 oz.
- 1/2 teaspoon Simply Organic Black Pepper Medium Grind 2.31 oz.
- 1/2 teaspoon Simply Organic Parsley Flakes 0.26 oz.
- 1 Simply Organic Bay Leaf 4 grams
- pinch Simply Organic Crushed Red Pepper 1.59 oz.
- 2 large eggplants, sliced lengthwise into 1/2-inch strips
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pound ricotta
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided
- 2 cups grated mozzarella cheese, divided
- 2 large tomatoes, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
- 1/4 cup chiffonade basil leaves, divided
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon sugar
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with aluminum foil and grease with cooking spray.
2. Arrange eggplant slices on baking sheets and brush with olive oil. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, flipping halfway through. Remove from oven and set aside.
3. In a medium-size bowl, combine ricotta, eggs, 1/2 cup mozzarella, 1/2 cup parmesan, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon thyme and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Stir until well combined, then set aside.
4. To make the sauce, heat olive oil in a medium-size pot over medium heat. Add onions and sauté for about 3 minutes, until softened. Add garlic and cook for about 30 seconds, until fragrant.
5. Add remaining 1/2 teaspoon thyme, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, parsley, bay leaf, red pepper flakes and tomato paste. Stir until well combined and let cook for 1 minute.
6. Using a sharp knife, break up tomatoes while still in can. Add to pot and break up further. Add sugar and stir to combine. Bring heat to a low simmer and cook down for 20 minutes, until thickened.
7. Taste and add additional salt, pepper, spices or sugar if desired. Turn off heat and set aside.
8. Adjust oven temperature to 375 degrees. Spoon a ladleful of sauce onto the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish. Place a layer of eggplant slices on top of the sauce, then a layer of tomato slices on top of the eggplant.
9. Dollop the ricotta mixture over the tomatoes and using a spatula, spread in an even layer. Sprinkle 1/4 cup mozzarella over the ricotta mixture, then 1 tablespoon basil.
10. Continue layering in the following order eggplant, tomatoes, sauce, ricotta, mozzarella, basil for 3 layers, reserving some basil for garnish. Once you lay the last row of eggplant slices, top only with sauce, remaining 3/4 cup mozzarella and remaining 1/4 cup parmesan.
11. Cover baking dish with loosely tented aluminum foil, place on baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes.
12. Remove foil and broil for 3 to 5 minutes, until golden brown and bubbly. Remove from oven, let rest for 15 minutes, then garnish with remaining basil and serve.
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