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FOOD-QUICKFIX-MI -- Eggplant Parmesan

Eggplant Parmesan takes 20 minutes to make. 

When I see large, beautiful eggplants in the market, I think of one of my husband’s favorite dishes, eggplant Parmesan. It usually takes time to prepare. I created this quick version so we could have it more often. Cutting the eggplant into small pieces helps it to cook and absorb the sauce flavor in only 20 minutes.

Helpful hints

  • Use a skillet or casserole that can be placed under the broiler for a few minutes.
  • 4 crushed garlic cloves can be used instead of minced garlic.

Countdown

  • Preheat broiler.
  • Start eggplant Parmesan.
  • While eggplant cooks, and mix ricotta and Parmesan together.
  • Complete eggplant dish.

Shopping list

To buy: ¾ pound eggplant, 1 package frozen chopped onion, 1 container minced garlic, 1 bottle no-salt-added pasta sauce, 1 small bottle hot pepper sauce, 1 carton part-skim milk ricotta cheese, 1 small piece Parmesan cheese, 1 package shredded reduced-fat mozzarella cheese, 1 can olive oil spray and 1 bunch fresh basil,

Staples: salt and black peppercorns.

Eggplant Parmesan

Yield: 2 servings.

½ pound eggplant (about 4½ c. cubed)

Olive oil spray

2 c. frozen chopped onion

2 tsp. minced garlic

2 c. no-salt-added pasta sauce

Several drops hot pepper sauce

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¼ c. part-skim milk ricotta cheese

½ c. grated Parmesan cheese

½ c. shredded, reduced-fat mozzarella cheese

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

½ c. fresh basil leaves, chopped

Preheat broiler. Wash eggplant, do not peel. Cut into pieces about ½-inch thick by 1-inch. Heat an 8-to-9-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and spray with olive oil spray. Brown eggplant in skillet, about 2 minutes. Add the onion and garlic and sauté 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the pasta sauce and hot pepper sauce, stir to combine ingredients. Bring to a simmer, lower heat to medium, cover with a lid and cook 15 minutes. Meanwhile, mix ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese together. When eggplant mixture is finished, add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and spread cheese mixture over the top. Place under the broiler, about 6 inches from the heat to form a golden topping, about 2 to 3 minutes. Watch to make sure cheese does not burn. Remove from broiler and sprinkle basil on top.

Nutritional information per serving: 493 calories (38 percent from fat), 20.7 g fat (9.2 g saturated, 6.3 g monounsaturated), 55 mg cholesterol, 26.4 g protein, 54.7 g carbohydrates, 13.2 g fiber, 729 mg sodium.

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Linda Gassenheimer is an author of over 30 cookbooks. Her newest is “The 12-Week Diabetes Cookbook.” Find her on Facebook (@FoodNewsandViews) and Twitter (@LGassenheimer), and listen to her podcasts at www.880thebiz.com.

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