Polenta and eggplant stacks

6
Total Time
1 hr 9 min
Prep
12 min
Cook
57 min
Serves
12
Difficulty
Moderate
Layers of eggplant, polenta, and creamy ricotta topped with fresh marinara sauce make an elegant and impressive-looking first course or buffet dish. As well as the ricotta, this recipe features mozzarella and Parmesan cheese too, so it's perfect for all of you cheese lovers out there. And in case you've never shopped for polenta before, the pre-packaged kind is available in a 16-ounce tube in the refrigerator section of your supermarket. Be sure to select a variety labeled fat-free. Polenta usually consists of boiled cornmeal, and you'll love how versatile it is, as it can be used with lots of other meats and sauces.

Ingredients

olive oil

2 Tbsp

garlic clove(s)

2 medium clove(s), chopped

canned tomatoes

28 oz, peeled Italian-style, broken up

table salt

¼ tsp

sugar

½ tsp

crushed red pepper flakes

¼ tsp

basil

½ cup(s), chopped

uncooked eggplant(s)

1½ pound(s), cut into 24 (1/4-inch) slices

polenta

16 oz, from a refrigerated tube, cut into 12 (1/2-inch) slices

part-skim ricotta cheese

¾ cup(s)

part-skim mozzarella cheese

½ cup(s), shredded

grated Parmesan cheese

1 Tbsp

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet, then add the garlic. Sauté until golden, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, salt, sugar, and red pepper; bring to a boil. Simmer, uncovered, until the sauce thickens slightly, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the basil.
  2. Spray the broiler rack with nonstick spray; preheat the broiler. Place the eggplant on the broiler rack and broil 4 inches from the heat until lightly browned, about 3 minutes on each side. Let cool. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  3. Spoon about 1 cup sauce on the bottom of a nonstick 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Place 12 of the eggplant slices in the pan, then top each with a polenta slice, a tablespoon of ricotta cheese, and the remaining eggplant. Spoon the remaining sauce over all.
  4. Bake, covered loosely with foil, until heated through and the sauce is bubbly, about 25 minutes. Top each stack with about 2 teaspoons mozzarella cheese. Bake, uncovered, until the cheese melts, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with the cheese. Serve hot or at room temperature. Yields 1 polenta and eggplant stack per serving.

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