Stuffed Eggplant Parmesan

Ingredients for the Crispy Garlic Breadcrumbs:

1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
Roasted Garlic Avocado Oil
Roasted Garlic Sea Salt

Directions for the Crispy Garlic Breadcrumbs:
First, make the garlic breadcrumbs by processing rustic bread in a food processor. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Drizzle in Roasted Garlic Avocado Oil. Add in 1 cup breadcrumbs - they're going to shrink as you cook them and will yield about 1/2 cup. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp Roasted Garlic Sea Salt. Saute the breadcrumbs until they're light, crispy and brown. Add more Avocado Oil as needed to promote browning. 

Ingredients for the Eggplant:
2 medium eggplant
Italian Herbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 Tbl Creole Italian Blend
1/2 lb Italian Sausage
1 1/2 cups D'Agostino Pasta Sauce
1 handful fresh basil leaves, torn
1/2 cup Crispy Garlic Breadcrumbs
6 oz shredded low-moisture mozzarella cheese
2 oz finely grated parmesan cheese

Directions for the Eggplant
Heat oven to 400°F. Cut eggplant in half lengthwise. Using a paring knife, cut a 1/2-inch border all around the eggplant halves. Use a spoon or melon baller to remove the flesh, taking care not to cut through the bottom. You will  create 4 "boats" out of the eggplant halves.

Rub the boats generously with Italian Herbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange boats cut sides up in a lasagna pan and roast until eggplant is tender and browned at edges - 25 to 30 minutes. Leave oven on.

While the boats roast, prepare the filling. Chop the scooped-out eggplant flesh into about 1/2-inch chunks, spread on a sheet pan and sprinkle with salt. Set aside. Heat 2 Tbl Italian Herbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Saute onion for 3 to 5 minutes, until translucent. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Add sausage and use your spoon to break it up and cook it just until no longer pink, about 5 minutes.

Add chopped eggplant, season the mixture well with salt and black pepper, and cook, stirring as needed, until eggplant is soft and wants to stick to the pan, about 7 minutes. Add 1/2 cup D'Agostino Pasta Sauce and half of the basil and  warm through. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and mix in half the mozzarella and parmesan.

In a bowl, whisk together 1 cup D'Agostino Pasta Sauce with 1 Tbl Creole Italian Blend. Pour the sauce into the baking dish to surround the boats. Stuff the boats with the filling. Top each with the remaining cheese and then the Crispy Garlic Breadcrumbs. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until heated through and the sauce in the pan is bubbling. 

Let eggplant rest for 5 minutes before serving. Serve in a shallow bowl with the sauce spooned on top and warm crusty bread on the side.




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