How to make eggplant ricotta casserole

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This eggplant ricotta casserole in the recipe that follows is all of the goodness of eggplant Parmesan with just a fraction of the work. The eggplant sits for a few minutes after being salted to let some of the moisture out, and then it comes together in a casserole with ricotta cheese and spaghetti sauce. Like most Italian dishes, it's pure comfort food!
It's important to remember however, that if all that's used is ricotta and eggplant, the dish itself isn't going to have a lot of texture. This recipe combats that by topping it with a fairly thick layer of golden breadcrumbs that get toasty and crisp while it bakes in the oven. Because really, what's a casserole without a good crunchy topping? By adding it, this casserole brings everything you could ever want!
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Eggplant Ricotta Casserole
6
10 minutes
35 minutes
45 minutes
2 large eggplants, sliced into 3/4" rounds
1 tablespoon salt
2 cups ricotta cheese
3 eggs
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried basil
2 cups dry breadcrumbs
3/4 cup butter, melted
2 cups spaghetti sauce
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded, divided
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a 9" x 13" casserole dish.
Place eggplant slices into a colander in the sink and sprinkle liberally with salt. Toss to coat and then let drain for 15 minutes.
While eggplant is draining, mix together ricotta cheese, eggs, oregano, and basil in a large bowl.
In a separate medium-sized bowl combine the breadcrumbs with the melted butter and let sit so the breadcrumbs can absorb the butter.
Wipe the eggplant with paper towels to remove excess water and salt.
Spread a thin layer of spaghetti sauce in the bottom of the casserole dish.
Place a layer of eggplant evenly in the bottom of the dish, using about half of the eggplant.
Spread more spaghetti sauce over the eggplant.
Evenly spread the ricotta mixture over the eggplant slices.
Top ricotta mixture with more spaghetti sauce.
Place remaining half of eggplant slices over the spaghetti sauce and ricotta mixture.
Top entire casserole dish with the breadcrumb mixture.
Place in the oven and cook for about 25 minutes, until breadcrumbs are golden and eggplant is soft.
Remove casserole from oven and drizzle spaghetti sauce over.
Sprinkle with 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese.
Place casserole back into the oven and bake for another 15 minutes, just until cheese is melted.
Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
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