Monday, May 16, 2011

Cheesy Eggplant and Ricotta Casserole





3 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup olive oil
2  pounds of plum tomatoes cleaned and put through a food processor or use 2 (28-ounce) cans of whole tomatoes
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
seasalt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, oregano, parsley
4 cups Italian flavored bread crumbs
 garlic powder
1 tablespoon dried oregano
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup burgundy wine

5 eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
Extra-virgin olive oil
4 pounds medium eggplants, trimmed and cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick slices (I take the skins off)
2 pounds whole milk ricotta cheese
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1 1/2  cups freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
2 pounds shredded  whole milk mozzarella cheese

Making the sauce first, put  oil in a large saucepan and heat.  Add the garlic and cook 1 minute. Add 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder and the rest of the spices and  herbs and let that cook for 2 minutes, stirring often. Pour in the tomatoes add wine and bring to a low simmer. Stir in the basil and season with salt and pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Combine the bread crumbs, 1/4 cup grating cheese, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, and oregano in a shallow pie plate,  season generously with salt and pepper and mix well set aside.
Beat 3 of the eggs into another pie plate,  season with salt, pepper , beat together with a fork to mix set aside. Place the flour in a large plastic bag.

Heat about 1/4-inch olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, shake several eggplant slices  in the flour, then dip them in the egg, and finally coat them in the bread crumbs. Put as many eggplant in the skillet  to  fit comfortably in a single layer and cook until tender and well browned on both sides. Drain on paper towels.

In a medium size bowl mix the ricotta and 1/2 cup of the Parmigiano cheese. Stir in the basil and remaining 2 eggs, and season with salt and pepper.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large buttered baking dish place spoon some sauce first, a layer eggplant, the ricotta mixture on top, the tomato sauce, some shredded mozzarella cheese and the grated Parmesan. Add another layer of eggplant. Repeat until everything is used.  Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan and top with mozzarella cheese.
Bake for about 1 hour, until golden and bubbling. Let stand for about 20 minutes before cutting

38 comments:

Lenia said...

I just love eggplants!Your recipe makes my mouth water!So yummy!

Federica said...

I love eggplant and ricotta. This dish is very inviting and appetizing so rich of melted cheese. Bye, have a great week

Su said...

I really, really, realy must try this one... it looks simply delicious :D

Gourmantine said...

This is a wonderful way to enjoy eggplants. Looks so inviting and delicious! Than you for sharing and have a nice week! :)

Belinda @zomppa said...

What a great, hearty dish! Healthy, too!

Claudia said...

All my favorite ingredients combined. That wonderfuly melted cheese has me hooked. Eggplant has the best love affair with cheeses.

StephenC said...

Wow, I'm not used to being so hungry at only 9 am. What a beautiful dish.

5 Star Foodie said...

An excellent casserole, love how cheesy it is, yum!

hmariek said...

Oh my goodness, look at that cheese. I love the idea of using eggplant, so much healthier and gluten-free! Fabulous recipe!

Mrs. in May said...

A favorite for family gatherings! Question, do you drain your eggplant at all? I've read some recipes where people will lay out the eggplant and drain it of some of the oils but I wasn't sure this was a necessary step.

Emily Malloy said...

YUMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM

Eftychia said...

My mum will be thrilled with this dish. Thanks for sharing this recipe with us.

Tammy said...

Oh my, how delicious! My mouth is watering!
This looks fantastic! :)

Hugs & Happy Blessings,
Tammy

Swathi said...

Eggplant ricotta looks winning combo.

Spicie Foodie said...

Wow Claudia this dish is to die for! I love, love eggplant. This is going on my list of recipes to try. Thanks for sharing.

Drick said...

OMG Claudia, you've done it again, got to have this one for sure, this is so Italian, so you and I hope so so on my table...

Lizzy said...

Oh, my! Just look at all that cheesy goodness! Lovely dish, Claudia!

Ellie said...

Eggplant, my favorite. I stopped ordering it out because nobody makes it right. This looks so fantastic to me :)

Debbi Does Dinner Healthy said...

Oh, I so want to make this! It looks awesome, thanks!

Big Dude said...

This looks amazing and will definitely get made when our eggplant crop comes in.

Linda said...

Mouthwatering photos! One of my favorite Italian dishes!

Kate@Diethood said...

MMMMM! I would love to have this for dinner tonight! I wish I had some eggplant :( This sounds amazing!

Chris's Gourmet Fashion said...

I love eggplant. This combination with ricotta sounds simply decadent! It looks so good ... but I know that this is a lot of work .... great job!

Gloria said...

I love eggsplants and this look awesome and yummy! gloria

Catherine said...

Dear Claudia, This is one of my absolutely favorite meals. Looks so delicious. Blessings, Catherine xoxo

Aggie said...

That looks delicious!

My Little Space said...

Claudia, this looks simply mouthwatering. Those dripping sauce look really irresistible. Hope you're having a wonderful day.
Blessings, Kristy
p/s hope everything is well.

Reeni said...

What an incredible casserole! So ooey-gooey and delicious!

Torviewtoronto said...

yummy eggplants in the pizza delicious

Pam said...

OMG!!! You really know how to hurt me! I'm drooling here as usual. I want to have dinner at your house soooo bad!

Comfy Cook said...

I look at your photos and I am salivating. Cheesy is excellent.

JCF said...

this looks so nice man... mhm

redkathy said...

Why doesn't mine look like this??? Great recipe Claudia. Love the burgundy!

Cookin' Canuck said...

I would love a big plate of this, along with a big glass of red wine. Wonderful, Claudia!

alison said...

lovely way for cook eggplant!

Ryan said...

Hi, I was just perusing all of the delicious recipes on your blog when my mouth starting watering when I saw this delicious and oh so cheesy eggplant Parmesan-- one of my favorite all-time dishes. This looks heavenly! Wish I could have some right now. Delicious!!

Magic of Spice said...

Love eggplant, love ricotta...love this in every way! Delightful dish :)

Ask Ms Recipe said...

Love your recipe, can't go wrong when you use cheese.

Nina
www.askmsrecipe.com