Yield: 8 servings
2 medium eggplants, cut horizontally into ½-inch thick slices
½ cup milk
1 ½ cups plain bread crumbs
1 teaspoon basil
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon dried thyme
1 15-ounce container ricotta cheese (low-fat or regular)
2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
¾ cup Parmesan cheese
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
¼ cup fresh basil, thinly sliced
1 26-ounce jar marinara sauce
1. Preheat the oven to 375F. Grease two 12-by-18-inch sheet pans, plus a 9-by-13-inch casserole dish.
2. Place the milk in a shallow dish. Mix together the bread crumbs, basil, oregano, and thyme in a separate shallow dish. Dip each eggplant slice in the milk and then into the bread crumb mixture, coating the eggplant thoroughly. Place the prepared eggplant onto the sheet pans. Once all the eggplant slices have been coated with crumbs, place the sheet pans in the oven and bake until the eggplant is tender, about 20-30 minutes. Remove the eggplant from the oven and set aside.
3. While the eggplant is baking, prepare the cheese filling. In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, 1 cup of the mozzarella, ½ cup of the Parmesan, the egg, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Then, gently stir in the basil.
4. Spoon about 1 c. of the marinara sauce onto the bottom of the 9-by-13-inch dish. Place a layer of the eggplant slices on top of the sauce. Then, spread half of the cheese filling on top of the eggplant. Add another layer of eggplant, cover with 1 cup of sauce, and spread the remaining cheese filling. Place a final layer of eggplant slices onto of the cheese filling and spoon the remainder of the sauce on top. Sprinkle the top with 1 cup of mozzarella and ¼ cup of Parmesan.
5. Bake uncovered until heated through and bubbling around the edges, about 40 minutes. Remove the dish from the oven and let sit for 15 minutes before serving.