1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium eggplant
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup fresh mushrooms, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup soft bread crumbs
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp dried sage
1/2 tsp dried parsley
Salt & pepper (to taste)
1 cup tomato-basil pasta sauce
2 tbsp tomato-based salsa (optional, but it adds extra flavor to the sauce)
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
3/4 cup shredded Italian-blend cheese
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
- Cut eggplant in half lengthwise; scoop out pulp, leaving a 1/4” thick shell. Set shells aside. Roughly chop the eggplant pulp; place in a colander over a plate. Sprinkle with a couple of pinches of salt; let stand for about 30 minutes.
- In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add eggplant pulp, onions, and mushrooms to the pan and sauté until tender. Reduce heat to medium, then add the garlic, bread crumbs, and spices (oregano through salt and pepper); stir to combine and heat through. Add additional salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and spoon into eggplant shells.
- In a small bowl, combine pasta sauce, salsa, and crushed red pepper flakes. Spoon mixture evenly over the stuffed eggplant shells.
- Bake, uncovered, for about 15 to 20 minutes (or until eggplant is fork-tender and sauce mixture is heated through). Sprinkle with cheese and bake for about 5 to 7 minutes longer, or until cheese is melted and slightly browned.