Serves 3. Easily doubled or tripled for that matter! Can be assembled 1 day ahead. Can also be frozen for up to a month.
1 large eggplant
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
1 lb shredded Mozzarella or Quattro Fromaggio
1 large bunch fresh basil, chopped
8 oz shredded Parmesan or Asiago for sprinkling on each layer
Slice eggplant in quarter inch slices and lay on a large baking pan. Drizzle with olive oil and lightly salt and pepper. Roast in a 450 degree oven for 10-15 minutes or until eggplant is soft but not mushy.
While eggplant is roasting , in a saucepan saute the diced tomatoes on medium heat until they have reduced by half. Set aside. If you like a little zing you can add red pepper flakes to the reduced tomatoes.
Spray a square baking dish with Pam.
Layer one third of the eggplant in the bottom of the dish.
Then one third of the reduced tomatoes.
One third of the Mozzarella.
One third of the Basil.
Sprinkle with Parmesan
Repeat until you have used all ingredients finishing with cheese.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes or until cooked through and cheese is bubbling.
Serve with penne pasta tossed lightly with olive oil, a bit of butter, & chopped Italian parsley and a Arugula salad or your favorite salad.
Background: This recipe came about when my friend Frances got an Italian cookbook from a friend who had just visited Italy. The original recipe required frying and breading the eggplant. I thought the dish was so flavorful with the reduced tomatoes and basil that I could leave the frying out and make it a little easier and healthier. This is a tasty dish that is light and easy! Trust yourself, if you think you can make a recipe better or healthier, try it! You may create something amazing! And when you do, send it to me! xo