Saturday, September 17, 2011

Baked Eggplant Sinatra Florentine

Another Upstate NY specialty in some fine dining restaurants. One of my favorites as close as I can remember it.

1 eggplant, sliced into 1/2 inch rounds
 2 tablespoons olive oil, or more if needed
 1 tablespoon garlic powder, or to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil or more if needed
3 cloves garlic, chopped
 4 large tomatoes, chopped
 1 (10 ounce) package fresh spinach leaves
 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
 1 small can tomato paste mixed with 1/2 cup of burgundy wine
1/2 teaspoon each garlic powder, oregano, basil, parsley
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
 mix all herbs together in small bowl set aside
salt and pepper to taste


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Brush eggplant slices with olive oil on both sides, and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle with half the herbs over the top. Bake for 10 minutes.

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the fresh garlic,  tomatoes and spinach. Cook and stir for a few minutes until fragrant, and the tomatoes have released their juices. In a medium bowl, mix together 1/2 cup of ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese, and 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese. Set aside.

Place the eggplant slices in a greased baking dish. Top with the spinach mixture. Spoon the cheese mixture over the spinach, and spread into a thin layer. Pour tomato paste and wine mixture sauce over the cheese layer. Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese over the top. Sprinkle with remaining herbs.

Bake at 350 degree hot oven for 30 minutes or more until browned and bubbly.
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