2 large eggplants
2.5-3 cups of marinara sauce of choice
1/2 Cup part skim mozzarella (cheese is optional and this is totally delicious without it!)
1/4 Cup shredded Parmesan (cheese is optional)
Seasoning of choice: I love red pepper flakes and dried basil, but you can totally wing it or omit additional seasoning!
Large pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 425F,
Slice eggplant into 1/2 inch thick discs and then slice those discs in half to create half circles (*optional to skin the eggplant first, I like to take some of the skin off but leave some on for texture and fiber),
Lay out paper towels or a plate, spread the eggplant out on top of the paper towels and sprinkle the eggplant with salt,
Let the eggplant sit for at least 20 minutes to allow the water to extrude from the eggplant (this gets rid of the bitter taste),
After the eggplant has sat, pat the eggplant dry with a paper towel,
Add the eggplant to a greased baking dish and sprinkle with pepper,
Bake the eggplant alone for 30 minutes (mixing the eggplant halfway through),
Remove the eggplant from the oven and mash the eggplant with a utensil to break down the larger pieces,
To the baking dish, add the tomato sauce and mix to coat the eggplant,
Bake for another 30 minutes (mixing the eggplant halfway through),
If using cheese: Remove the baking dish from the oven and raise the oven temperature to broil. Cover the eggplant with the cheese and broil for about 5 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly.
Storage: store in an airtight container for up to 7 days and enjoy!
Prepare Ahead: if making ahead, prepare the entire recipe up to step 9, then store in the fridge. Prior to serving, proceed with step 10.