EGGPLANT AND ITALIAN SAUSAGE GRATIN

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This Eggplant and Italian Sausage Gratin is bursting with fabulous Italian flavor. A delicious, make-ahead, dinner party worthy meal!

The thought for this Eggplant and Italian Sausage Gratin has been moving around in my mind since mid-July when Scott’s nursery started to productively deliver wonderful, sparkly purple eggplants. Each opportunity he’d roll in from the nursery and his crate of treats would incorporate eggplant, I’d say, “Around evening time I will make you an eggplant gratin”. I meant well, however something appeared to consistently come in the manner.

We at last had a calm evening at home around fourteen days prior and I was unable to stand it any more. I needed to evaluate my motivation, which had been developing ludicrous. I got going and begun setting my thoughts in motion. About 90 minutes after the fact, I presented to Scott a bowl of the Eggplant and Italian Sausage Gratin. He took one nibble, taken a gander at me and said, “This may very well be the most flavorful thing you’ve at any point made!”

I made it various occasions since for both loved ones. Everybody’s cherished it. It’s ideal for evening gatherings, as it tends to be made hours or even a day ahead of time and just flew in the broiler for the last heating not long before supper. It’s likewise an incredible dish to take to a companion or family out of luck; scrumptious solace food that can be conveyed and afterward heated at whatever point it’s advantageous for their timetable. I really took a skillet of it to a companion a week ago and got this content a couple of hours after the fact:

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Furthermore, for another sound other option, I chose to broil my eggplant in the broiler in lieu of browning it as numerous eggplant plans call for. The thick cuts of eggplant are brushed delicately with olive oil, sprinkled with salt and pepper and into the stove they go. After thirty minutes they’re delicate, and fit to be joined with the fragrant tomato sauce.There’s one heavenly lavish expenditure that takes this Eggplant and Italian Sausage Gratin over the top (in a real sense!). While the eggplant is cooking and the pureed tomatoes stews, you’ll make the garnish sauce. It’s a basic mix of decreased substantial cream and a liberal modest bunch of both Parmesan cheddar and mozzarella cheeses. The cheeses dissolve into the thickened cream making a luxurious and inconceivably tasty gratin besting.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium eggplant sliced in 1/2-inch thick rounds
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 12 ounces Italian sausage removed from casings
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 3 cloves garlic finely minced
  • 3 14 1/2- ounce can fire-roasted canned tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 ounces grated parmesan cheese
  • 4 ounces fresh mozzarella.
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Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400˚F. Line two sheet pans with foil for easy cleanup. Brush foil generously with extra virgin olive oil. Arrange eggplant slices in even layers on prepared pans. Brush tops of eggplant slices lightly and quickly with olive oil. Work quickly as eggplant likes to absorb lots of oil. You just want to lightly coat the surface. Sprinkle lightly with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  2. Bake for 15 minutes, then rotate pans and bake another 20 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside
  3. While eggplant is roasting, make the meat sauce and parmesan sauce. For the meat sauce, heat a medium-large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add Italian sausage and cook until lightly browned. Break the sausage up with a metal spatula and stir occasionally, as it cooks.
  4. Drain excess grease and reduce heat to low. Add Italian seasoning and garlic and cook, stirring continually for 2 more minutes to soften the garlic and let the spices bloom.
  5. Add fire-roasted tomatoes to the pot and increase heat to high. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to maintain a steady simmer. Cook for 20-25 minutes, until sauce begins to thicken, stirring occasionally. Add fresh basil and cook for 5 minutes longer. Remove from heat.
  6. For the parmesan sauce, pour 1 cup heavy cream into a medium-size saucepan. Heat over medium heat until simmering. Reduce heat and continue to cook, maintaining a medium-low simmer, until reduced approximately in half. This will take about 10 minutes. Add Parmesan and mozzarella. Stir over low heat, until cheese is melted and sauce is smooth. Cover and set aside.
  7. To assemble gratin, lightly grease a low enameled cast iron pan, gratin pan or low casserole. Arrange half of the eggplant in the pan. Spoon about 1/2 of the meat sauce over the eggplant and then repeat layers. 
  8. Stir the Parmesan sauce well and pour over the top of the eggplant and sauce. You can leave some of the eggplant mixture showing, if desired.
  9. Reduce temperature to 350˚F and bake gratin until bubbly and beginning to turn golden in spots, 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving. Serve in shallow bowls with crusty bread.
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