I love Eggplant Parmesan but had such a hard time finding one that is done in about 30 minutes and light (or as light as you can get when you're frying foods)! I cobbled this together by taking bits from this recipe as well as this one. I lightened this recipe by avoiding the breading & frying and instead opting for roasting the eggplant (a la Mario's version). I lightened Mario's version even more by spraying the slices with Extra Virgin Olive Oil Spray (found right next to the cooking sprays or the olive oil).* Then I added a ricotta mixture like Gina's (from Skinny Taste).
The recipe calls for a 9x12 pan but I just use any size I can quickly find. If it's smaller the eggplant stacks will be a little smooshed (and might take longer to heat through). If it's bigger you'll have fewer eggplant stacks and less layering to do. I normally just use my 13x9 and have about 2 layers of eggplant.
*if you don't want to buy the spray then just lightly brush the eggplant with oil. Same idea and one less thing to buy!
1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 large eggplants (about 2 pounds), sliced 1 to 1 1/2 inches thick
Salt & Pepper (to taste)
12 oz fat free ricotta
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp Pecorino Romano (grated)
1/4 cup fresh basil (chopped)
2 cups reduced fat mozzarella cheese (shredded)
3 cups tomato sauce (I suggest making this recipe: Pomodoro Sauce on the weekend, subbing in vegetable broth for the chicken broth, and then freezing whatever is left)
1/4 cup whole wheat bread crumbs (toasted under broiler)
1. Turn the oven to "broil". Spread out your bread crumbs. Lightly mist them with Extra Virgin Olive Oil Spray (or you can use regular cooking spray) and place under the broiler. If you are like me - watch them (I always have to repeat this step because I burn the first batch!). When they start to turn light brown, remove them.
2. Then turn the oven to 450 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with Pam (you can use the one the breadcrumbs were on). Lightly season the eggplant slices with salt and pepper. Arrange the slices on the baking sheet & spray the slices with Extra Virgin Olive Oil Spray. Bake at 450 until the tops turn slightly golden brown then flip until the other side begins to turn slightly golden brown. (should be about 6 minutes per side). Remove and place on a plate to cool (leaving them on the sheet will cause them to burn!). Lower the oven to 350.
3. Mix together the ricotta, egg, and 1/4 cup Pecorino cheese. Cover the bottom of a 9x12 pan (or any size you have) with some sauce and make 4 "eggplant towers" with the following layers: eggplant (largest slice on the bottom), sauce, basil, ricotta mixture, mozzerella, eggplant, sauce, basil, ricotta mixture, mozzerella, eggplant. Repeat until you have used everything and end with a eggplant & sauce on top. Be sure to put enough sauce on the top layer - helps prevent the dish from drying out.
4. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs on top. Bake, uncovered, at 350 until the cheese melts and the top turns nice and brown. Approx. 20 minutes. Serve immediately.