Eggplants are a very versatile vegetable. You can use eggplants to make anything from spreads and dips to salad, sides, and main dishes. They can be grilled, fried, baked, or sautéed. I had an eggplant and some ricotta sitting in the fridge and a friend on the way, so I decided to make this quick, 30 minute, appetizer. To be honest with you, I didn't know what I was doing when I started putting this dish together. I decided to thinly slice the eggplant and roast it in the oven. Then I went back in the fridge to look for what other ingredients I had to use. When I saw the Ricotta, it just clicked in my head! These little stacks came together so fast. It's kind of like a carb-free, healthy lasagna stack. Simply delicious!
Oh, and if you were wondering... Did my friend like it? The answer was yes! She loved it. In fact, when I told her how this dish was an experiment and I had no idea what was going to be made when I started, she told me she would be my "guinea pig" and I could experiment on her anytime!
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/4 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
6 Basil leaves
Preheat the oven to 425F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Slice the eggplant into rounds.
Put eggplant slices on a baking sheet in a single layer.
Brush the eggplant slices with olive oil on both sides.
Put eggplant in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
In the meantime, in a bowl add ricotta cheese, parmesan, roasted garlic, salt, red pepper, black pepper, and nutmeg and mix well. Set aside.
In a pot, heat olive oil. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and fry for a good 5 minutes or till garlic looks golden. Be careful not to burn the garlic and peppers.
Add tomato sauce to the garlic and stir well.
Add spices to the sauce and mix again. Let simmer for 10 minutes.
Add Heavy Whipping Cream, stir, and remove from heat.
Remove eggplant from the oven.
Stack 2 eggplant slices, dollop of cheese mix, and another 2 eggplant slices.
Top with 2 tablespoons of the sauce on each stack, shredded basil leaves, freshly ground black pepper, and freshly grated Parmesan. Serve warm with the remainder of the sauce on the side.