EGGPLANT PARM STACKS
375o 10-15 minutes
400o 3-5 minutes
2 large purple eggplants, sliced in 1” rounds (optional to leave skin on)
2-3 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
1 cup fresh basil leaves (or 2-3 Tbsp non-fresh)
2 cups tomato sauce (see recipe for spaghetti meat sauce – Donatelli’s (don’t include the meat))
1 slab of mozzarella (1/4” slices)
¼ cup Italian bread crumbs
2 tsp thyme
¼ cup olive oil (plus ¼ cup)
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional: 2 Tbsp chili flakes (mix with bread crumbs)
Preheat oven to 375o
Line cookie sheet with foil. Lay out eggplant rounds in single layers. Cut 2-3 slits per round, large enough to stuff a garlic slice into each slit. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Roast until soft and cooked completely, about 10-15 minutes.
In a small bowl, mix bread crumbs, and thyme together. Heat saute pan over medium heat and add 1/4 cup olive oil. Once hot, add bread crumb mixture and toast until golden brown. Remove bread crumbs from pan onto a paper towel lined plate.
Remove eggplant from oven and let cool just slightly, enough so you can handle. Reuse cookie sheet and build stacks of eggplant. Begin with a slice of eggplant and layer with 2-3 leaves of basil (or sprinkle with non-fresh basil), smear with a couple Tbsps tomato sauce and top with a slice of mozzarella. Build two layers tall and top with breadcrumbs.
Increase the temperature of the oven to 400o.
Put the eggplant stacks back into the oven and cook 3-5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the bread crumbs are toasted.