Even though it says “Parm” at the top of the page, there is no Parmesan cheese in this eggplant dish. A generous sprinkle of grated Parmesan would add greatly to the dish, but we didn’t have any.
So I used ricotta and mozzarella instead. And yes, this is a result of using “planned overs”. In this case, it was about two cups of heavy meat pasta sauce. I frequently use this bit of leftover sauce to make chili by adding beans and Mexican spices, and serving over rice. But we were going to watch a segment of “Rick Steves in Europe” shot in Italy, so the natural choice was to “Go Italian”!
This is deceptively easy to provide to expectant diners. If you use some parchment paper under it when baking, the clean up is non-existent.
I peeled, and then sliced the eggplant into quarters the long way, and arranged them on the parchment paper on the pan, preheating the oven to 500° at the same time. For some extra zing, next there was a layer of Mexican fresh salsa swirled onto the eggplant slices. I reasoned it would work its way into the eggplant itself during the baking and give it an extra punch.
Then came a layer of the meaty pasta sauce, followed by ricotta cheese sprinkled with Penzey’s dried Italian herbs, which has a smidge of garlic, and then a generous layer of mozzarella cheese slabs.
This baked up in about twenty or so minutes, whilst I cooked some Angel Hair pasta and mixed in a small amount of avocado oil and Penzey’s herbs that are supposed to be used to make Green Goddess dressing. Now THAT is a combination made in heaven. It was light and delicious; the perfect foil for the heavier eggplant.
Clearly we should have had a green vegetable with this, but we still had three ears of fresh corn that DH was hoping would appear on the table, so it did. Since there are two of these eggplant beauties left for another no-fuss meal, the broccoli that is waiting its turn will accompany the next round.
It will be our “Saturday Night Special” meal tonight. May pair it with “Saturday Night at the Movies” on our local PBS station – “As Good As It Gets” with Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt. We’ve seen it – 22 years ago – but how can we turn down a Jack Nicholson comedy? Roger Ebert liked it!