How To: Recipe Makeover – Eggplant Ricotta Bake

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When my husband and I were living in NYC for a year I made it my mission to eat as much good food as possible.

Over the year I ate some pretty delicious meals – from the best ice cream I have ever eaten to my new favourite pasta dish – there was certainly no shortage of good food. I should note, I do think I became somewhat of an NYC restaurant expert so if you ever go to NYC and do not contact me, that would be a huge mistake.

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One place we discovered was this family run Italian spot that served some of the best and most authentic Italian food around. My husband ordered their version of eggplant parm and was immediately sent to cheese heaven. This eggplant rollitini was LOADED with ricotta, mozzarella, and parm, and covered in a rich homemade tomato sauce.

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Eggplant parmesan is a traditional Italian dish that typically appears as layers of tender fried eggplant, rich tomato sauce, and creamy cheese. I present to you a just as delicious version but without all the frying and grease. This version bakes the eggplant instead of frying and uses a mixture of low fat ricotta and parmesan in the rich cheesy layer.

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Not only can this recipe be classified as a “recipe makeover,” but it definitely fits into the “quickie meal” category as well. 2-for-1 deals are my favourite!

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The taste of New York’s Little Italy right in my very own little kitchen. Enjoy!

Dara

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Eggplant Ricotta Bake

Serves 4
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Main Dish
Website Adapted from Martha Stewart

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggplants (sliced into rounds)
  • 1 2/3 Cups low fat ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tsp dried oregano
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 bottle of your favourite tomato/marinara sauce
  • salt and pepper (to taste)

Note

A lighter take on the classic eggplant parmesan, this eggplant ricotta bake makes an excellent vegetarian lunch or dinner. Serve with a simple green salad and some crusty bread.

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Place eggplant slices in a single layer on baking sheet and spray with cooking spray. Season with salt and pepper and bake for about 15 minutes, or until they are soft and starting to brown. Set aside to cool.
2. In a medium bowl, combine ricotta, parmesan, eggs, oregano, salt, and pepper and mix together.
3. Spray an 8 x 8 pyrex with cooking spray and place one layer of eggplant on the bottom of the dish. Spread with half of the tomato sauce and place another layer of eggplant on top.
4. Spread half of the ricotta mixture on top of the eggplant and continue to make a second layer, ending with your ricotta mixture.
5. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until bubbly and browned. Let cool for about 5-10 minutes before serving.

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