This is a great dish anytime of year, but especially in the summer season when you want something a little lighter.
- 2 Eggplants (sliced lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick pieces)
- 1/2 cup Olive Oil
- 1 cups Ricotta
- 1/2 cup Basil (chiffonade)
- 2 cloves Garlic (minced)
- 3 sprigs Thyme (leaves only - chopped)
- Zest of 1 Lemon
- Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper
- 1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano plus extra to garnish
- 2 cups Tomato Sauce
- 1 Egg
- 1/2 cup Mozzarella (shredded)
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Season the pieces of eggplant with salt and freshly ground pepper.
- Add two tablespoons of olive oil to a saute pan over medium high heat. Once it is smoking, add the eggplant slices, in batches, frying until golden brown. Remove to a paper towel lined plate. Repeat with remaining eggplant, frying in batches, and adding more olive oil as necessary.
- In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, parmesan, basil, garlic, thyme, lemon zest, egg, and season with salt and pepper. Fold together till thoroughly combined.
- Using a ladle, spread some of the tomato sauce on the bottom of a casserole dish. Spoon some of the ricotta mixture onto each of the eggplant pieces. Roll the the eggplant up and place into the tomato sauce lined casserole. Repeat with remaining pieces of eggplant, fitting them snugly in the casserole dish.
- Ladle some more of the tomato sauce over the eggplant, and add mozzarella over the whole thing. Bake in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until cheese is golden brown and bubbling. Allow to cool slightly before serving. Garnish with basil and parmesan.