This is my favorite way to prepare eggplant. The dish is light yet full of flavor.
1 large eggplant, peeled and cut lengthwise into 8 thin slices
Salt and black pepper to taste
11/4 cups ricotta cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
11/2 cups marinara sauce, homemade or store-bought
4 oz sliced mozzarella
Peel the eggplant and cut it in half lengthwise. Cut each half into 4 lengthwise slices.
Brush the eggplant slices with olive oil and sprinkle each lightly with salt and pepper. Place them on a large baking sheet.
Roast in a 400-degree F oven for 20 minutes, turning the eggplant slices over halfway through cooking.
Place on paper towels to cool.
For the filling:
Combine the ricotta, Parmesan cheese, egg, parsley, salt, and pepper; mix well.
When the eggplant has cooled about 10 minutes, place 2-3 tablespoons of the filling mixture on each slice.
Spread it over the eggplant slice and then roll up into a cylinder. Repeat with all the eggplant slices.
Oil an 8-inch baking dish and coat the bottom of the dish with 1/2 cup of the marinara sauce. Place the eggplant rolls in the baking dish.
Pour the remaining sauce over the top of the eggplant rolls. Top each roll with a piece of mozzarella cheese.
Cover the dish with foil and bake in a 400-degree F oven for 30 minutes.
Let the dish rest a few minutes before serving.
Broccoli Rabe Pasta
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 bunch broccoli rabe
2 tablespoons plus 1/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1/2 lb ziti pasta
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
Trim off about 1-inch of the stems from the bottom and discard. Cut off the broccoli rabe florets and coarsely chop the leaves and remaining stems. Keep the stems and florets separate.
Bring a large pot three-fourths full of water to a boil. Add the 2 tablespoons salt and the pasta and cook until al dente.
In a large, deep frying pan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil.
Add the garlic and crushed red pepper and sauté 1 minute.
Stir in the broccoli rabe stems, coating them with the oil. Cook for 5 minutes.
Stir in the remaining broccoli rabe florets and cook, stirring occasionally, until they soften, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and season with pepper.
When the pasta is ready, drain and place the pasta in a serving bowl. Top with the broccoli rabe and add the cheese. Mix well and serve.
Italian Garden Salad
Half a head of Romaine lettuce washed and torn into small pieces
1/2 of a cucumber, peeled and sliced
1/4 of a red onion, sliced thin
1 celery stalk, diced
1 carrot, shredded
1/4 cup Italian Olives
Italian Salad Dressing
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon sugar or sugar substitute
2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon celery salt
1 1/2 tablespoons table salt
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oi
2 tablespoons seasoning mix
For the salad dressing:
Combine the ingredients for the seasoning mix in a small jar.
In a mixing bowl whisk the vinegar and 2 tablespoons of the seasoning mix together. Whisk in the olive oil.
Combine the salad ingredients together in a salad bowl Add some of the dressing and mix well.
Taste the salad to see if it needs more dressing or salt and pepper. Reserve any leftover seasoning mix and dressing for another salad.