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Posts Tagged ‘Vegetarian Italian’

This delicious Italian dish is equally authentic without breadcrumbs and eggs. Serve it as a side, or even as an entree.  With all the goodness of vegetables and cheese its a filling meal by itself, perhaps with hash browns or gluten free corn bread on the side.  I make it less cheesy than restaurants do, but that’s your choice. Great for a fun family meal.

Ingredients:

2 pounds or 2 medium-large eggplants cut into 1/4 inch thick slices.

1 1/2 cups rice crackers pulsed in food processor

1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese.

4 tablespoons corn starch mixed into 1/2 cup water to make a thin paste.

2 tablespoons olive oil.

Salt and pepper to taste.

For Sauce:

28 ounce can (3 1/2 cups) of crushed tomatoes.

2 tablespoons olive oil.

1/2 cup packed finely chopped fresh basil leaves.

1 teaspoon fresh, minced garlic.

1 teaspoon paprika. 

1/2 teaspoon oregano.

Salt and pepper to taste.

1 cup shredded Parmesan and 1 cup shredded mozzarella for layering.

Method: Preheat oven to 400 F ./ approx. 200 C.  Line baking tray with lightly oiled aluminum foil

Sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides of eggplant slices. 

Mix pulsed rice crackers with the Parmesan cheese on a large surface.

Dip each eggplant slice in the corn starch mixture. 

Dredge each slice in cheese and rice cracker mixture and place on baking tray. 

Drizzle with olive oil and bake for 20 minutes, or till eggplant slices are soft and golden brown. 

Meanwhile, prepare sauce.

Heat 2 tablespoon olive oil in saucepan and add the minced, fresh garlic.  When garlic sizzles, add crushed tomato.Give a few stirs, and allow tomato to simmer and cook on low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add paprika, oregano and fresh basil leaves.  Turn off heat.

To assemble, spread 1/3 of the sauce into a large casserole dish.  Place half the eggplant rounds in a single layer covering the sauce at the bottom of the pan.

With a ladle spoon small portions of sauce over each eggplant round. Then spoon shredded mozzarella on top of sauce, on each round. Sprinkle 1/3 of the shredded Parmesan. 

Place remaining eggplant rounds over the cheeses.  Repeat process by spooning sauce and cheeses on top of each round. Pour remaining sauce on top. and sprinkle with remaining Parmesan.  Bake uncovered at 350 F / 180 C for 35 minutes. 

Let casserole sit for a few minutes, before cutting into it to serve.

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