I was craving eggplant parm and low an behold the farmers market had some wonderful Japanese eggplant. I made it in a single layer and saved the extra sauce for pasta later in the week.
4 Japanese eggplant, about 2 pounds
Salt and pepper
2 c tomato sauce, recipe below
8 oz fresh mozzarella, sliced 1/8-inch
1/2 c freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Fresh bread crumbs
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Using some extra-virgin olive oil, oil a baking sheet.
Slice each eggplant into 2 pieces about 1 to 1 1/2 inches thick lengthwise. Slice in half. Lightly season with salt and pepper and place on the oiled sheet.
Bake the eggplant at 450 degrees F until the slices begin turning deep brown on top, about 12-15 minutes. Remove the eggplants from the oven.
Lower oven temperature to 350.
In an 8 by 12-inch brownie pan, place the eggplant slice packed tight. Spread with tomato sauce and sprinkle with some dried teaspoon of basil. Place one slice of mozzarella over each and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon grated Parmigiano. Sprinkle the toasted bread crumbs over the top of the eggplant dish, and bake uncovered until the cheese is melts and the tops turn light brown, about 20 minutes. Serve immediately.
Basic tomato sauce:
1 TBSP olive oil
1 Spanish onion, 1/4-inch dice
4 garlic cloves, peeled and diced
1 TBSP dried thyme
1/2 medium carrot, grated
1 (28-ounce) cans peeled whole tomatoes, crushed with juices
In a 3-quart saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft and light golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the thyme and carrot and cook 5 minutes more, until the carrot is quite soft. Add the tomatoes and juice and bring to a boil, stirring often. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes until as thick as hot cereal. Season with salt.