PAIR WITH: Pinot Hill, Hallberg Blanc
This recipe happens to be low carb and keto-friendly, and it’s easy to put together for a quick meal. Even for those who don’t particularly like eggplant, you can’t go wrong with slicing it up real thin and dousing it in cheese!
Pair with any vintage of Pinot Hill if using red sauce. If you decide to go all out, the higher acid of our Hallberg Blanc will go well with the cheese sauce.
From the kitchen of: Virtual Wine Concierge Jean Flintsmith
- ROASTED EGGPLANT:
- 15 oz eggplant, sliced lengthwise about 1/4" thick
- Olive oil
- Sea salt
- Black pepper
- MEAT SAUCE:
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1½ cloves garlic, minced
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp black pepper, or to taste
- 1½ cups Marinara sauce OR 1½ cups Sonoma Gourmet Kale Pesto & White Cheddar sauce
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 2 tsp dried thyme
- CHEESE FILLING:
- 7 oz ricotta cheese
- ½ cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
- 1 large egg
- 1½-2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
- Preheat the oven to 400° F.
- Line and grease a baking sheet.
- Lay the eggplant slices down in a single layer and brush both sides with olive oil.
- Season with sea salt and black pepper.
- Roast the eggplant in the oven for about 15-25 minutes, until soft. When done, remove from the oven and leave the oven on at 400° F.
- While the eggplant is roasting, heat oil in a large pan over medium-high heat.
- Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds, until fragrant.
- Add the ground beef. Season with sea salt and black pepper. Cook until browned (about 10 minutes), breaking apart the meat with a spoon or spatula.
- Do not drain the beef. (You can drain it if you like, but not too much or the dish might end up a little dry.)
- Stir in marinara sauce (or cheese sauce), oregano, and thyme. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer for about 10 minutes.
- While the meat sauce simmers, combine the ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, and egg in a small bowl.
- Line the bottom of your casserole dish with a single layer of roasted eggplant slices.
- Top with the meat sauce.
- Spread the ricotta mixture on top.
- Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella cheese.
- Repeat the layers until you run out, with shredded mozzarella last.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese on top is melted and golden. Enjoy!