One 28-ounce jar basic pasta sauce
1 pound lean ground beef
1 teaspoon fennel seed, crushed (optional)
1-1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Approximately 1 pound eggplant
Olive oil
1 egg, beaten
2 cups shredded Parmesan or Romano cheese
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, minced (or 1 teaspoon dried)
2 teaspoons fresh oregano (1 teaspoon dried)

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Brown ground meat, add pasta sauce, fennel, Italian seasoning and garlic powder. Simmer covered for 30 minutes.

Slice eggplant into 1/2-inch rings; sprinkle lightly with salt; set aside for 30 minutes to let the eggplant "weep". Blot moisture with a paper towel and fry until golden in olive oil. Drain on paper towels.

Layer one-third of sauce in loaf pan; dip eggplant in beaten egg and layer on top of sauce. Mix cheese with rosemary and oregano; layer one-third over eggplant.

Repeat layers two more times.

Bake uncovered for 45 minutes. Allow to set 10 minutes before serving.

Can be made the day before and heated to serve. Slice crosswise to serve.

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Cajun Country -- New Iberia, Louisiana