This is one simple dish I could easily trade with a steak dinner. When prepared right and with good cheeses and spices, it is a crowd pleaser. It could very well be a lasagna because of the layering of the ingredients involved in assembling the dish. In fact, I remember my grilled vegetable lasagna as I bite into it. This recipe uses no salt. The saltiness comes from the Italian bread crumbs; I used eggs very sparingly and topped it with Muenster cheese slices which gives the same gooey effect that mozzarella cheese does. I've been using it for grilled cheese sandwich too- yummy and less expensive than Gruyere cheese. Going back to my cassserole cum lasagna, here's how to make it.
3 eggplant, sliced lengthwise (you can remove the skin if you want)
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1 28 oz can of marinara sauce
1 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1 cup cottage cheese
2 tsp red pepper flakes
2 packets of Splenda or Equal to balance the acidity of the marinara sauce
fresh curly Italian parsley, chopped
In a sauce pan over medium heat, stir in Splenda and red pepper flakes to the marinara sauce and bring to a simmer- about 8 minutes just to bring all the flavors together. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Dip eggplant slices in egg, then in bread crumbs. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 5 minutes on each side.
In a baking dish spread marinara sauce to cover the bottom. Place a layer of eggplant slices in the sauce. Top with cottage and Parmesan cheese mix. Repeat with remaining ingredients, ending with the Muenster cheese slices on top. Sprinkle curly parsley on top last.
Cover with aluminum foil sprayed with Pam and bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes.
Remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes just to lightly brown the top.