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Eggplant Ricotta Bake

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I made this for dinner tonight! What did I learn?? you need at least 16 slices of eggplant. I messed up and only had 12 which wasn’t enough to properly layer everything. So I wound up doing an layer of eggplant, sauce and then ricotta, and then repeating. It was pretty good but I think I would have preferred to follow the recipe having the alternating layers of sauce and ricotta. Also it is essential to have pretty thick slices of eggplant otherwise they get too soft and crumbled after roasting. My 8 inch pan was just the right size for the 3 layers but might not work if there were 4 layers, I think it would overflow! This is a nice and way quicker alternative to my usual eggplant parmigiana which takes the better part of a whole day! Here is a picture of some leftovers, recipe follows….

Eggplant Ricotta Bake
Recipe courtesy of John Barricelli on Martha Stewart’s Website

2 large eggplants (1-1 1/4 lb each), sliced lengthwise into 3/4 inch slices
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for baking dish
salt and pepper
1 15oz container part-skim ricotta cheese
3 large eggs
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons fresh chopped oregano (or 2 teaspoons dried)
1 jar store bought marinara sauce (16 oz)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Arrange eggplant slices in a single layer on two rimmed baking sheets. Brush lightly on both sides with oil; season with salt and pepper. Roast until eggplant is tender and golden, turning halfway through, 25 to 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together ricotta, eggs, 1/2 cup Parmesan, oregano, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Brush an 8-inch square baking dish with oil.

Lay a fourth of eggplant slices in bottom of prepared dish; spread with half of marinara sauce. Top with another fourth of eggplant; spread with half of ricotta. Repeat layers, ending with ricotta; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan. Bake until bubbling and golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool 10 minutes before serving.

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