Eggplant Parmesan (version XLIX)
4 cups Basic Marinara
Prepare basic marinara sauce according to recipe directions, adding sliced mushrooms and pepper along with tomatoes.
2 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 red bell pepper, chopped-optional
3 medium eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch slices
olive oil cooking spray
garlic powder and salt
1 1/2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated monterey jack cheese
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg white, lightly beaten
1 cup dry white or light bodied red wine
2 6-ounce cans tomato paste
1 28-ounce can ready cut roma or regular tomatoes or 2 pounds fresh roma or regular tomatoes, peeled and seeded.
1 medium red or yellow onion chopped
2 large cloves fresh garlic, pressed or minced
2-3 tablespoons fresh basil (1 tablespoon dry)
1 tablespoon fresh oregano (1/2 tablespoon dry)
1-2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
6-8 shakes chili powder or cayenne pepper
fresh ground black pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
olive oil cooking spray
Preheat oven to 450º F. Lightly spray several large baking sheets with cooking spray. Arrange eggplant slices in a single layer on baking sheets; spray top of eggplant lightly with cooking spray and dust with garlic powder and salt. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned and tender. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
Mix mozzarella, monterey jack and parmesan cheeses together with beaten egg white in a medium size bowl. Cover cheese mixture and set aside.
Reduce oven to 350º F. Place a single layer of eggplant in a 9x13 inch baking dish; cover eggplant with 1/3 of sauce and 1/3 of cheese mixture. Repeat process, finishing with last layer of eggplant and remaining 1/3 of sauce. Cover remaining 1/3 of cheese mixture and set aside.
Cover baking dish with foil and bake for 30-45 minutes or until bubbling. Remove dish from oven and top with remaining 1/3 cheese mixture. Allow to sit 5-10 minutes before serving.
Lightly spray a 4-quart stock pot with olive oil cooking spray and preheat on medium. Saute garlic 2-3 minutes or until lightly golden. Add tomatoes and all remaining ingredients, except fresh basil and olive oil.
Simmer sauce for 1-4 hours. Add basil and olive oil to sauce a few minutes before end of cooking time. If sauce becomes too thick, add a little water.
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