This dish is unbelieveable. I have become slightly obsessed. A quick easy marinara for these eggplant boats to soak up, along with chunks of spicy, sweet, garlicky chicken sausage and fresh mozzarella. A healthy alternative to chicken parm or eggplant parm.Substituting the pasta with the eggplant itself!
Here's How I made them!
1 medium eggplant
2 Tbs garlic powder
cajun chicken sausage links (4)
2 Tbs olive oil
1 medium Vidalia onion
10 large garlic cloves
2 Tbs butter
½ c dry white wine
2 (15 oz) cans crushed tomatoes
1 tsp parsley
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp Italian seasoning
Splash of sherry wine
1 ½ c fresh mozzarella chunks
10 fresh basil leaves chopped
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Grab your eggplant, slice in half lengthwise, score with a knife, and scoop out flesh with a spoon, leaving about ½ inch of eggplant, to hold its weight up and not collapse after you fill it.
Drizzle inside of eggplant with olive oil and season with garlic powder. Roast on the rack in the oven for 10-15 minutes, when done take out and let rest.
Meanwhile, start cooking your sausage, over medium heat and start your simple marinara.
For the marinara, heat olive oil over medium heat, add your onion, cook until translucent, add in your seasonings and 5 cloves chopped garlic and cook until fragrant.
Add in the wine, cook for another few minutes then add in the crushed tomatoes, stir and let bubble over medium low heat with the lid on while you get your sausage ready.
As the sausage cooks, chop up the eggplant you scooped out into small chunks and the rest of the garlic.
When your chicken sausage looks ready, take out onto a cutting board and give a rough chop, still keeping it chunky.
Throw back into the pan with the garlic, sauté for a few minutes to get more browning on the sausage, then add in your eggplant chunks.
At this stage the eggplant will soak up every bit of flavor in your pot which is what I love most about eggplant.
Grab a 9x13 dish and place 1 cup of the marinara.
Add the rest to your sausage filling and mix.
Take ¼ of your fresh mozzarella and fill the bottoms of the eggplant boats, then ladle in the filling.
Top each boat with the rest of the mozzarella and bake at 400 for 10 minutes, then broil for 3 minutes.
Top with fresh chopped basil and ENJOY!
Cook time: 40 minutes