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I recently bought some ricotta cheese for a dish I wanted to make. I bought much more than I needed and wasn’t sure what else to use it in.  Cheesecake?  No!  I had enough sweets over Christmas.  An internet search turned up lots of pasta dishes but that wasn’t it either.  How about eggplant parmesan?  I’ve wanted to make eggplant parmesan for quite some time but I didn’t really want a heavy, greasy dish as it can sometimes be.  I looked around and found a recipe that baked the eggplant first instead of frying it. I didn’t really like anything else about that recipe so I decided to use that idea but make my own sauce, plus there was the ricotta.

I love putanesca sauce so I made something along those lines, you can use any sauce you like of course.  As usual the measurements are not exact, I throw in what I have or what I feel it needs after tasting.

The Sauce

  • 2Tb olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 10 green olives sliced
  • 15 Kalamata olives sliced
  • Can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 small cans tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 4 drops fish oil
  • 1/2 Tb yerma or Schezuan pepper
  • salt/pepper/sugar

Heat the oil over med heat in a pan, add the garlic. Cook a few minutes and add the olives. After they heat a bit add the diced tomatoes and cook together for around 5 minutes.  Add 1 can of tomato sauce, the red wine, fish oil, Schezuan pepper. Taste and add salt/black pepper and about 1 Tb sugar to cut the acidity.  If it looks like you will need more sauce, add the other can of tomato sauce and cook until thickened.

  • 2 Eggplants
  • 2-3 eggs
  • Italian bread crumb mix (bread crumbs, oregano, garlic, pepper & parmesan)

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Meanwhile, cut the eggplant into 1/4 inch slices and salt. Let sit while salted about 1/2 hour.  You will see drops of water coming out of the eggplant.  The salt will take some of the bitterness away from the eggplant.  Rinse and pat dry.  Whisk the eggs together and dip the eggplant and then coat in breadcrumbs.  Put on a parchment paper covered cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 10 minutes each side.

  • 1 cup Ricotta cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 parmesan cheese
  • 1 TB basil
  • salt/pepper
  • 1 cup or more Grated mozzarella

Mix together the Ricottta, eggs, parmesan, basil and salt/pepper.  Butter a baking dish and layer eggplant, ricotta mixture, sauce and mozzarella cheese, about two layers.  Sprinkle with parmesan and bake at 350 for 35 minutes.

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