roasted eggplant sorta like lasagna casserole thing…

13 May

The Public Market on Granville Island had a special on eggplants and before I knew it, I had five at the checkout counter.  What the hell am I going to do with all these eggplants?!?!?  A large casserole thing seemed appropriate since I was going to be busy later in the afternoon, so I prepared it ahead of time so I could just throw it in the oven when I got back.  It’s kind of like lasagna (a lot of the same ingredients) with the exception of having layers of roasted eggplant throughout!

Here’s the recipe!

What you need!
5 medium eggplants
1 can of tomato sauce
6 cloves of garlic
1 medium onion
1 lb of ground beef
2 1/2 cups panko crumbs (or breadcrumbs)
1 1/2 cups of parmesan cheese
2 cups of small pasta
2 tbsp dark soy sauce
2 tbsp light soy sauce
sea salt
pepper
dried tarragon
olive oil

What to do!

1.  You can either pan fry the eggplants or stick ’em in the oven.  I went with roasting them in the oven so I had more time preparing the sauce while it was cooking.  Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees and slice your eggplants into 1/4″ thickness.  Drizzle some olive oil on the cookie sheets and lay the eggplant slices on it.  Drizzle some more olive oil on top and sprinkle some sea salt, pepper and tarragon to taste.  Stick it in the oven for about 30 minutes or until the eggplant looks nicely browned and charred!

2.  Prepare the sauce!  Mince your garlic and chop your onions.  In a medium saucepan on medium-high heat, drizzle some olive oil and begin to sautee them.

3.  Add in the ground beef and soy sauces and cook until browned.

4.  Add in your tomato sauce and set the temperature so it just simmers.  Add in salt and pepper to taste.

5.  Add in your tiny pasta….mine are in the shape of little flowers!  The key here is to make sure there is enough liquid because your pasta will absorb a bunch, don’t be afraid to add little bits of water to help it cook along.  Cook until the pasta is al dente since it will further cook once you back the whole shabang.

6.  Take a peak at your eggplant, and if it looks nice and charred, take ’em out!  Start assembling your casserole thingie.  Put a small amount of pasta mixture at the bottom of a 9×12 glass dish.  Add a single layer of eggplant.  Top with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.  Repeat!

7.  On your last layer, finish off with a bit of the pasta mixture and top it with the panko crumbs.  Sprinkle a bit more tarragon and drizzle with some olive oil.  To finish it off, stick it in your oven at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes.  Have some tinfoil on for the first half and then for the last half, take the tinfoil off so the top can brown.  Bake until it looks bubbly at the bottom!

Enjoy!

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