Thursday, December 13, 2012

Lighter Eggplant Parmesan

I've never had Eggplant Parmesan before trying this recipe but it is now my new favorite Italian dish!

Start by roasting your eggplant at 450 for 20-25 minutes until they are golden brown (not burned like the one in the upper right hand corner)

Then layer your eggplant, cheese and sauce like you would with lasagna.

Bake at 400 for 30 minutes covered in foil...then remove the foil and bake for another 10

The recipe says to wait til 10 minutes before eating but I've never been able to!

Here's Gina's original recipe with my notes:

1 large eggplant (2 lbs)
1 tbsp olive oil
12 oz fat free ricotta (I always use the whole 15oz container. It makes it a little less of a "light" recipe but I hate to waste yummy cheese!)
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp Parmesan (I find a great vegetarian one at Trader Joe's)
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped (in a pinch I've substituted 2 tablespoons of the dried stuff)
1/4 cup egg beaters
2 cups reduced fat mozzarella (I used Sargento)
3 cups of your favorite tomato sauce

Slice the eggplant into 1/4 inch thick slices. (Too thin and they'll burn- be careful!_

Lightly salt the slices and put in a colander to release excess moisture for about 1/2 hour. Lay on paper towels to soak up any extra moisture. (If I have time I'll do this step but if I'm really hungry I've skipped it.)

Preheat oven to 450°. Brush eggplant lightly with olive oil on both sides and place on cookie sheets. Bake for 20-25 minutes, turning half way through until eggplant is golden brown.

In a medium bowl combine ricotta, egg, parsley and 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese.

In a 9x12 baking dish, put a little sauce on the bottom of the dish and put a layer of eggplant to cover the bottom of the dish. Top with 1/3 of the ricotta cheese mixture, mozzarella cheese and sauce. Add another layer of eggplant and repeat the ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese and sauce until everything is used up. Top with sauce and the mozzarella cheese and the remaining grated cheese.

Cover with foil and bake until cheese is melted and everything is bubbling, about 30 minutes at 400°. Remove foil and bake an additional 8-10 minutes. Take it out of the oven and let it sit about 10 minutes before cutting.

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