Eggplant Parmesan Casserole

1/2 shallow baking dish. It makes enough for 2.

3 TBS olive oil

1 medium eggplant, sliced into 3/4 inch thick rounds

3 garlic cloves, pressed or finely minced

1 1/2 cup canned crushed tomatoes ( I am using garden plum tomatoes)

1 TBS chopped basil

4 oz. part-skim ricotta cheese

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

1 large egg

1 cup mozzarella cheese

1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Brush with olive oil.  Put eggplant in a large bowl and drizzle with 1 TBS oil and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp salt. Toss. Put eggplant in a single layer on the baking sheet. Roast eggplant for 35-45 minutes until golden brown, flipping half way through the baking. Cool eggplant and lower oven to 375 degrees.

Meanwhile heat 2 tsp. oil in a saucepan and add half the garlic. Cook on medium for 1-2 minutes.Add crushed tomatoes and stir. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5-10 minutes until thickened. Remove from heat and season with basil, salt and pepper. Put on the saucepan lid and keep warm.

In a bowl mix ricotta, 6 TBS Parmesan cheese, egg and a dash of salt and pepper.

Evenly layer 1/4 cup tomato sauce, half the roasted eggplant, 1/4 cup more tomato sauce, 1/2 the ricotta mixture, 1/2 the Parmesan cheese that is left in an 8 1/2 by 5 1/2 inch loaf style pan. Repeat the layers.

Cover the pan tightly with foil that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Bake until bubbly, about 25 minutes.

Mix the remaining 1 tsp oil, 1 tsp garlic, 2 TBS Parmesan cheese and the Panko bread crumbs in a bowl. Toss.

When the 35-45 minute cooking time is over, take the eggplant out of the oven and take off the foil. Sprinkle with the Panko mixture and continue to bake for an additional 25 minutes. Let casserole sit for 3-5 minutes before serving.