Submitted by: Donna Peemoller
Prep Time: 45 Minutes
Cook Time: 30 Minutes
A tasty alternative to traditional eggplant parmigiana.
Preheat the oven to 375ºF while you prepare the tomato sauce.
Make the sauce: Heat olive oil on medium-low heat in a 2-quart saucepan. Saute minced garlic for about 1 minute. Stir in the tomato paste for a few seconds and then add the diced tomatoes, water, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat to a simmer and continue to cook for about 20 minutes.
Cook the eggplant: Peel and slice the eggplant into 1/2-inch slices. For this recipe you will need 12 round slices of eggplant, so use the larger, nicer ones. Spread coconut oil in the bottom of a pan and heat over medium. When pan is hot, lay down slices of the eggplant and fry until the slices are nicely browned on both sides. Repeat this step until all the slices are cooked which may take 3 separate fryings depending on the size of your fry pan. After all the eggplant slices have been cooked, set them aside.
Assemble the dish: Spread about 2 cups of the tomato sauce into the bottom of a 9" X 13" oven proof dish. Lay 12 slices of eggplant in a single layer on top of the tomato sauce. Using a small ice cream scoop (about 1/4 cup capacity), place 1 scoopful of the ricotta cheese on top of each eggplant round. Place another round of the cooked eggplant on top of the ricotta cheese. Pour the remaining sauce over the whole dish. Sprinkle with grated cheese and bake uncovered in the 375ºF oven until heated through and bubbly. Garnish with the chopped parsley and serve.
If you can afford the extra fats, top each eggplant "sandwich" with sliced mozzarella or provolone cheese and bake for another 5 minutes or until the cheese melts.