Eggplant and Ricotta Slice

Cook time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 6

Ingredients

3 eggplants, cut lengthways into 5mm slices

½ cup rice flour (alternatively plain flour)

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

80g finely grated parmesan, plus extra to serve

200g fresh ricotta

1 cup of leftover cooked rice

For the sauce

1 onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

Salt & pepper

2 x (400g) cans crushed tomatoes

2 large handfuls of spinach leaves

1 handful of basil leaves torn, plus extra to serve

Eggplant and Ricotta Slice

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Reserve 2 tablespoons of the oil for sauce. Heat some of the oil in a large 28cm frying pan over medium-high heat. Dip each slice of eggplant in the flour, shake off the excess, then shallow-fry in batches for 1 minute on each side until golden brown. Drain on some paper towel. Repeat this process until all the eggplant is cooked. Season with salt and pepper.

For the sauce, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of the oil in the pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and a pinch of salt. Cook for 4–5 minutes until softened then add tomatoes. Bring to the boil, turn the heat to low and simmer gently, stirring regularly for 10-15 minutes until thickened. Remove from the heat and add the spinach. Coat in sauce to wilt then add the torn basil.

Line the base and sides of a 22cm pan with ⅓ of the eggplant, making sure the slices overlap and hang over the edge of the pan. Spread a spoonful of sauce over the base then add half the rice. Sprinkle over ⅓ of the cheeses and repeat the process, finishing off with eggplant as the last layer. Fold in the overhanging eggplant to seal.

Bake for 30–35 minutes until the top is golden. Cool for 30 minutes before flipping out onto a plate. Serve with extra parmesan and basil leaves.