March 18, 2012

guest post: who needs pasta?

Hello blogging world, this is Mr. A., coming from the the tarts & crafts Research and Development Headquarters - also known as our house.

Mrs. A. is not the only one who cooks around here.  While she takes care of all the baking duties, we share in the cooking pretty equally.  We both like to cook, and we also both like to experiment and alter recipes to fit our tastes.



A few nights ago, I was volun-told for the cooking of dinner and was tasked with making the eggplant dish below.  It ended up being a pretty easy recipe to make and we both agreed it came out well.  I changed up a few things with the recipe though.

After roasting the eggplant, you were supposed to roll them and stuff them with the ricotta mixture.  I thought that was going to be kind of too much work, so instead I made more of a lasagna out of it.  I started with a layer of sauce on the bottom of the dish, then put a layer of eggplant.  That was followed with the ricotta mixture (in that mixture I also added some chopped garlic).  I then added another layer of eggplant, some more ricotta and then the rest of the mozzarella and parmesan.

It ended up being a great meal.  I think if we did it again, I would use more eggplant and make it another layer or two thick.


Here's the recipe!

Eggplant Parmesan
adapted from Real Simple

Ingredients
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6-7 chinese eggplants (about 3 pounds total ), sliced lengthwise (about 16 slices total)
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups marinara sauce
  • large eggs
  • 15-ounce container ricotta
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 cups grated mozzarella (8 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan (1 1/2 ounces)


Directions
  1. Heat oven to 450° F. Divide the oil between 2 rimmed baking sheets. Dividing evenly, arrange the eggplant slices in a single layer on the baking sheets and turn to coat in the oil; season with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
  2. Bake the eggplant, rotating the baking sheets halfway through, until soft and beginning to brown, 12 to 15 minutes; let cool. Reduce heat to 400° F.
  3. Meanwhile, in the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch or some other 3-quart baking dish, spread ½ cup of the marinara sauce. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, ricotta, oregano, 1 cup of the mozzarella, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper.
  4. Place about 3 tablespoons of the ricotta mixture on one end of a slice of eggplant, roll it up, and transfer it to the prepared baking dish. Repeat with the remaining eggplant slices and ricotta mixture. [See my changes above]
  5. Top the eggplant rolls with the remaining cup of marinara sauce and the remaining cup of mozzarella. Sprinkle with the Parmesan.
  6. Bake until the cheese has melted and the sauce is bubbling, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.