eggplant & sausage parmesan.

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So, I couldn’t technically call this dish a lasagna, because I did not use pasta.  I used eggplant strips layered with parmesan, mozzarella, tomato sauce, and… SPICY ITALIAN SAUSAGE!!!! (the best part of the dish, in my opinion)  I actually found hot Italian poultry sausage at Wegmans.  I took the sausage out of the casing and browned it.  It actually worked quite well!  It looks like a meat lasagna in the pictures.. but there is NO PASTA!

Honestly, I hate when people say I “don’t eat carbs” because if someone is watching what they’re eating or trying to lose weight, I would never tell them to “cut out carbs”.  I LOVE CARBOHYDRATES!  I love gluten.  I love cake.  I love toast, waffles, and pancakes.  I just eat the RIGHT kind of carbohydrates.  Vegetables and fruits are complex carbohydrates.  If you think bread is the only carb source out there, you’re wrong!  I go for whole grain, vegetables, fruits, beans, quinoa, and farro to name a few healthy carbs.  Anyway, onto the important stuff – the recipe!

RECIPE: (serves 2-3 people)

  • 3 links hot or mild Italian poultry sausage (or regular hot Italian sausage), meat taken out of the casing
  • 1 medium eggplant
  • 1 15 oz jar tomato sauce, store bought (my favorite brand of pizza/spaghetti sauce is L.E. Roselli’s – found it at Wegmans)
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella
  • 1 cup grated parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • in a skillet on medium-high heat, brown the sausage with olive oil (try to break it up just like ground beef)
  • cook for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally
  • peel and slice eggplant very thinly longways
  • in a 5 x 8 baking dish, layer tomato sauce on the bottom
  • top with a layer of eggplant
  • spread another layer of sauce on top
  • sprinkle about 1/4 cup mozzarella & 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • spread 1/2 of the sausage on top of the cheese
  • repeat once more
  • finish the top off with one more layer of eggplant, sauce and cheese on top
  • sprinkle 1/2 of the fresh basil on top
  • cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes
  • take the foil off and brown the top for another 5 minutes
  • top with the rest of the fresh basil
  • enjoy!

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