Eggplant Napoleon with Herbed Ricotta in a Tomato Cream Sauce
Eggplant is one of Italy’s most-prized vegetables, and it turns up in a number of recipes throughout the various styles of cuisine of the country. Here beautiful, rich purple slices are stacked with a delicious herbed ricotta – another favorite Italian ingredient – and topped with a creamy topping crafted from Cosmo Celebration Sauce.
Herbed Ricotta Ingredients
2 cups ricotta cheese
3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
3 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 large eggplants
2 tablespoons salt
1 cup flour
3 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 cups fine breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon dried parsley
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups Cosmo Celebration Sauce
1 cup heavy cream
Make the ricotta. Stir the cheese, chives, parsley, garlic, basil, thyme, salt, and black pepper together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
Make the eggplant. Cut the stem and blossom end off each eggplant, peel, and slice lengthwise into 1/2-inch slices. Add the eggplant to a medium bowl and sprinkle with 1-1/2 table- spoons of the salt, tossing to coat. Transfer the eggplant to a colander and place it over the sink to drain for 20 to 30 minutes. Rinse the eggplant and pat dry.
Add the flour to a large bowl. Whisk the eggs, remaining 1⁄2 tablespoon salt, and the black pepper together in a separate large bowl. Whisk the breadcrumbs and parsley together in another large bowl.
Dredge the eggplant slices in the flour, shaking off excess, then dip in the egg wash and let excess drip off. Roll the eggplant in the breadcrumbs, pressing to adhere. Place the eggplant on a baking sheet, separating the layers of eggplant slices with wax paper, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Make the sauce. While the eggplant is resting, heat Cosmo Celebration Sauce in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the cream, reduce the heat to medium low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 4 to 5 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 225°F. Heat the butter and oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until the butter melts. Cook the eggplant slices, working with a few at a time and turning once, until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes total; do not over-crowd the pan.
Transfer the eggplant to a wire rack set over a baking sheet and place in the oven to drain and keep warm while preparing the additional batches of eggplant.
Divide the eggplant slices evenly. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the sauce on each of four plates and stack the eggplant slices over the sauce, with herbed ricotta spread between the layers.
Drizzle the eggplant with more sauce and garnish with the chopped basil. Serve immediately.