A very rich and satisfying vegetarian main that is a nice alternative to a pasta bake or lasagne. Layers of aubergine, cheese and pasta sauce are baked till bubbly. Serve with crusty garlic bread and a green salad.
Parmesan cheese is not truly vegetarian, as it contains animal rennet. To make this dish 100% vegetarian, omit the cheese or find a suitable vegetarian substitute made without animal rennet. In supermarkets look for the 'parmesan style hard cheeses' which are suitable for vegetarians.
Fantastic, full of flavour - 15 Sep 2015
Very good with a few revisions. I would recommend sweating the eggplant first for 20 minutes and then seasoning with salt and pepper as well as garlic powder. I also put half the pasta sauce on top of the eggplant and then added the 3-cheese mixture before I layered on the spinach. Then I added the rest of the sauce and the remaining cheese on top. I think it works better this way because the flavors are spread more evenly. Without seasoning the eggplant generously, you end up with bland and boring at the bottom and all the flavor and pizzazz on top. - 09 Jul 2007 (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)
The measurements regarding the eggplant, onion and tomato are a bit open to interpretation. To make this dish, I used an eggplant that was about 8 inches tall and about 12 inches around. I left the skin on my eggplant slices for extra fiber, and also let them sweat for about 20 min before using. For anyone who's unfamiliar with sweating, you salt the slices and let them sit out for about 20-30 mins. The salt will draw out some of the bitterness inherent in eggplant. Not sure if the pre-baking of the slices in this recipe is also sweating, but I did both to be safe. You can rinse the slices after to remove almost all the salt. I had more than enough eggplant to fill the bottom of a 9x13 dish; I even had to overlap a few slices. I didn't have the spinach - somehow I overlooked that when writing the ingredients for my shopping list. I will definitely not forget for next time though. I love spinach in ricotta! I used a whole can of diced tomatoes with garlic and onions, drained. I just prefer the flavor. Did you know that canned tomatoes have more lycopene in them than fresh? Cooking brings out the lycopene in tomatoes. Anyway... I used a small red onion, chopped, which equaled probably about 1/4 cup worth, give or take. I found that the amount of cheese was just right, though I couldn't seem to spread it very well, so it was sort of crumbled on top and patted down. I did use a tad extra tomato sauce and cheese for the topping than listed in the ingredients. My f - 21 Aug 2009 (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)