Take out Tuesday, Eggplant Stacked Sandwiches

I started to make Eggplant Rollatini, where you roll eggplant slices up with filling inside, but after thinking about the process I decided that rolling the stuffed eggplant was going to be way too much trouble and that I could use much more yummy filling if I just layered ingredients in the dish.  Not being lazy here 🙂 just practical!  So I created a stacked “sandwich” of eggplant rounds, sauteed mushrooms, ricotta cheese with spinach and Parmesan, finished with an Italian sausage Marinara.  If you want to go meatless here, just omit the sausage,  you won’t even miss it!

I like to get the sauce started early in the day.  The Marinara sauce simmers in the slow cooker all morning to be ready for the afternoon’s final preparation.

Brown sausage in a little OO in skillet, drain and coarsely chop. Put Marinara in slow cooker [sprayed with Pam] and add sausage, Italian seasoning, S&P, and garlic powder to taste.  Stir, cover and cook on low 4-6 hours.

Add more OO to pan and saute mushrooms over med high heat until golden. Refrigerate mushrooms until assembly.

To assemble casserole, prepare the ricotta filling by combining the ricotta with spinach, Parmesan, and S & P.

To cut down on unnecessary fat I roasted the eggplant in the oven instead of frying.  Peel eggplant and slice into 1/2″ slices and brush with a little olive oil, season with S & P and place on a foil lined sheet that has been sprayed with Pam.  Roast eggplant slices for about 25 minutes, until golden and soft.

Get out pans for assembly line.  Disposable pans for Hungry Husband Jr’s family & a casserole dish for us, arranged for assembling final dish.I decided to add some plain spaghetti and extra sauce for my grandson, Super Boy, since I don’t see him going for the eggplant…

NOTE: Most dishes can easily be adapted for different tastes [interpret that as picky!] with a little deconstructing.

Start by putting a layer of Marinara sauce in the bottom of pan [pans]

Lay 1/2 of the eggplant slices in the sauce and top with a thick layer of ricotta mixture, dividing evenly between the slices.

Top with reserved mushroom slices

and CHEESE!

Top stacks with remaining eggplant slices

Pour Marinara over stacks and sprinkle with some Parmesan. Cover and refrigerate at this point until you are ready to bake or share.

Uncover about half way through baking time and serve when everything is hot, bubbly ooey gooey.  You will never miss the pasta in this dish, but you can serve some on the side.  Crusty bread is a good choice too.

Here’s the recipe:

EGGPLANT STACKED SANDWICHES   for a printable version click here

2 Italian sausages [or more]
2 jars quality Marinara Sauce [Bertolli]
2 T dried Italian seasoning
1 tsp garlic powder
8 oz sliced mushrooms [baby Bella]
2 medium eggplants [6-8 slices each]
12 oz ricotta cheese [part skim]
4 oz grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1 box frozen spinach, cooked & well drained
additional cheese for topping

Sauce:

Brown sausage in a little OO in skillet, drain and coarsely chop. Add more OO to pan and saute mushrooms over med high heat until golden. Refrigerate mushrooms until assembly.  Put Marinara in slow cooker [sprayed with Pam] and add sausage, Italian seasoning, S&P, and garlic powder to taste.  Stir, cover and cook on low 5-6 hours.  Freeze leftover sauce for another time.

Assembly:
Remove skin from eggplants and slice into 1” thick rounds. Brush slices lightly with oil and roast at 400 on an oiled, foil lined cookie sheet for 20-25 minutes until golden.
Make ricotta filling by mixing the ricotta, spinach, & Parmesan and seasoning with S&P.
Put 1/2 of sauce in the bottom of baking dish or dishes.  Place 1/2 of eggplant slices on sauce.  Mound ricotta filling on eggplant stack bottoms, dividing evenly among them.  Press sauteed mushrooms into the ricotta filling and top with remaining eggplant slices. Top stacks generously with remaining Marinara and sprinkle with more cheese, [Parmesan, mozzarella, jack, fontina].  Cover with an oiled piece of foil [so cheese won’t stick].

Refrigerate for up to 3 hours before baking at 350 for 30-40 minutes, uncovering after 20 minutes.

To serve: carefully place 1-2 stacks on each plate and ladle some sauce from pan bottom over or around.
Serves 6-8

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Comments
One Response to “Take out Tuesday, Eggplant Stacked Sandwiches”
  1. These are beautiful!!! I always have tons of zucchini from my garden… I’m tucking this yummy recipe away to make when my zucchinis are riotous! Thanks for bringing this yummy dish to ON THE MENU MONDAY!

    Like

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